Grim_Noir Sinks His Teeth Into Underwood and Flinch

 

Underwood and Flinch podcast novel

Title: Underwood and Flinch

Writer/Producer/Narrator/Aural Artist: Mike Bennett

Title Theme: Amad Amma by Farid Farjad

Published at UnderwoodAndFlinch.com

Reviewed by Grim_Noir

“The road to Hell…begins with the first step…” How’s that for a mash-up?

This is the dilemma which writer Mike Bennett has created for ex-paramedic and recovering alcoholic David Flinch in his podcast novel, Underwood and Flinch. David had hopes of being an ex-Flinch, as well. He is teaching in present-day England, under his mother’s maiden name, when his dying brother’s letter finds him. David is requested to step into the centuries-old family business in Spain…

And that business is to be the retainer, daylight attendant and disposer-of-bodies for the immortal vampire, Lord Daniel Underwood. To say any more about the plot would spoil the shocks and surprises that make this story so much bloody fun.

Let me be clear: This is NOT the twinkle-in-the-sunshine, broody-emo, pedophile type of vampire that schoolgirls who are too afraid to buy porn read about. This is the kind of Undead I want to read about: An old-school, remorseless, self-assured, night walking, demonic murder machine (complete with NSFW warnings).

That is not to say Underwood isn’t charming and eloquent. It’s just that he makes no…er, bones about the fact that he devours people to stay alive. Nor will he apologize for it. He has awoken from a 50-year sabbatical and he’s hungry.

Underwood's Rolls-Royce Hearse

 

Brit Mike Bennett has created a sort of “Clive-Barker-writes-Salems-Lot-for-the-Ibiza-nightlife-set.” It works a hell of a lot better than it sounds. And it sounds pretty damn good, thanks to the author’s own narration. Bennett takes the time to create three-dimensional characters while using voices and accents to sell them to the audience of his podcast “chapters.” All of this is coupled with the sardonic wit of a Vincent Price or Peter Lorre. I know we mostly review comics, but painting a good mental picture is also an Art. Don’t believe me? Check out Underwood’s first appearance, with David’s father, Arthur, in the short story, Night Crossing, here.

Underwood and Flinch‘s world is populated with Spanish townsfolk, blood fetishists, British ex-patriots and Russian mobsters. There is also David’s step-sister, Lydia, who thinks she has learned everything she needs to know about vampires from watching the Hammer horror films of the 1970s. They all serve to show us, the listeners, that everyday Evil can be stupid and cruel, but prove to be nothing compared to Lord Underwood. They have a tiger by the tail and he is more than capable of turning quickly and biting them.

 

Official Underwood and Flinch tee shirt

Ol' Grim Hisself

* GRIM_NOIR is convinced that the internet a figment of his imagination. Please comment below and/or follow @Grim_Noir on Twitter, GoodReads or Facebook to end his self-delusions.

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