Daniel W. Kelly’s Combustion is an erotic horror novel that explores culture clashes , gay fetish lifestyles and community support all in a vividly detailed, exploration of trash cult literature. I must admit that this is my first time reading horror erotica, I have read the trashy gay novels that you can purchase at the adult bookstores, and horror novels are my sweet spot. I guess I am stating that the blend of erotica and horror is not my normal cup of tea, but Daniel W. Kelly’s Combustion is an entertaining, bit of trash literature that would be the written equivalent of cinema trash like “Midnight Movie” and “Mania”.
Combustion follows a gay community under attack from different elements who either want control or don’t want the gays defining a town’s identity. With bizarre deaths that are almost supernatural, different factions of a community divided in protest and turf, explorations in gay fetish culture and a basic celebration of classic crime noir, this novel offers an in-your-face, complex, somewhat exaggerative look at how challenging it can be for LGBT people to find and build a place to call home. After the recent death of a prominent member of the gay community in Kremfort Cove, private detective Deck Waxer sets out to solve a case that has literally set the community on fire.
The story is a standard whodunit that is stacked with gay erotica situations, creative horror elements and deliciously exploitative stereotypes. The arch is between the start of the story is a cleverly controlled decent into dark satire, and thrilling horror. Combustion isn’t a novel for all horror fans and I am not certain if the story is appealing to all blended erotica fans. I didn’t relate to a lot of what framed this book when it came to the fetish stuff, but I found it fun, amusing reading about a subculture of my community that I never quite understood. I have never really been big on exploring fetishes (I am kind of boring that way-but not judging). It was very informative, I actually learned a lot from these characters, although I do feel that these characters were extreme representations of the subcultures within the gay community.
The juxtaposition between the erotica and the horror was a nice, even-paced ride. Not to mention that the story lead into a dark “last act” that really hits the horror aspect full on. My only critic for the novel was the complete, elaborate attention paid to the erotica portion of the story that seemed to b lacking somewhat with the horror portion. I would have loved more horror and less erotica. That is just me, but with that being said I really enjoyed the experience of learning about horror erotica and will continue reading Daniel W. Kelly’s novels.