Carnage on 84th Street (Noir Unless Gore Splatter Crime)


Judith Sonnet has always been the author I go to when I fancy reading something unapologetically gory and horrific, whilst also being able to provide a great and well-rounded story. This read was no different but with a crime focus. Think Sin City vibes; dark and dreary, falling rain, and everything colorless unless it’s blood and gore. Funny story, when reading the opening chapter, Ron Perlman was voicing it in my mind, and it fit perfectly. Set in 1976, the description of the apartment building known as “Decdale Place” or “The Shits,” was brilliant. Sonnet provides a great sense of just how dilapidated and dank it is with it sticky floors, the smell of urine and stale body odor, and the underlying scent of decomposing bodies. It kind of gave me a sense of the mega block from Judge Dredd without the futurism.


“Lemme taste you!” He whimpered before planting his mouth over her emptied socket and sucking. She felt fluids move from the crater into his maw. Then, she felt his tongue wriggle into the pit, fishing for the remaining bits of her mashed and uprooted eyeball. His cheeks were filled with mucoid gore. He sucked in deep. Hailey imagined her brains unfurling and traveling down his disgusting mouth. “Hmmm! Mmmmph!” Raleigh groaned as he tongued her eye-hole. “Hmm!” His euphoria matched the extremity of her pain. Hailey wailed and cried, which only added to his mirth.”


Every single character in Carnage on 84th Street is evil, apart from one. Even the assumed hero was a complete bastard. Although this was the case, I kind of liked it. Having basically no sort of savior until the end is unique. The killer hired to take out the three men running the Decdale building is easily just as horrid both in sadistic thinking and worldview. You’ll think he may be the good guy, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The descriptions of gore are also completely unapologetic and push the boundaries to the max. I was about ready to reach for the sick bucket after a certain chapter because of how vividly it was described. There is most definitely Carnage on 84th Street, and it’s spine-chillingly grisly. Don’t go into this one without a strong stomach and perhaps a few sick bags. Judith Sonnet manages to write a brilliant story once again, mashing together dark crime fiction with the extreme gore she is known for.


Written by Arianne, Sovereign Deity of the Damned

Carnage on 8th Street (2023)
Judith Sonnet
Cover Art: Grim Poppy
4.5 / 5