A local author’s new novel, “The Devil You Say,” mixes politics, humor and horror in a story about a conservative radio talk show host who needs an exorcism.
The novel by Shelton author Fred Musante is the second book in his Realy Paranormal comic urban fantasy series, featuring twin brothers Mike and Ethan Realy who open the Realy Paranormal Investigation Agency, leading them and Mike’s girlfriend, Noelle, to seek out spooky adventures that inevitably result in comic complications.
The first book in the Realy Paranormal series, “Night of the Witch,” was published last January. Both novels in the series are currently available for sale as ebooks on the Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords.com web sites.
The author notes that mining the horror and paranormal genres for their comedy potential is nothing new, as attested by the films "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948), Mel Brooks’ "Young Frankenstein" (1974) and "Ghostbusters" (1984).
But according to Musante, the leading characters in the Realy Paranormal novels are intelligent, twenty-something college grads instead of slapstick buffoons, and much of the humor is derived from Mike Realy’s saucy first-person narration.
"They are also rich, having inherited millions of dollars when their father died mysteriously," Musante said. "However, the money was left in a trust fund with the condition that they only have access to it if they become paranormal investigators, thus setting the stories in motion."
The author added, "Readers will notice that the mysterious circumstances of the death of their father hints at future complications of an ‘X-Files’ nature."
"The Devil You Say" follows the same basic story structure as "Night of the Witch," except instead of a séance in a haunted house, the setup for the plot of the first novel, this time the Realy twins hold an exorcism. The fact that the demonic possession victim is a Glenn Beck-type conservative radio talk show host adds a topical spin to the novel’s humor. But it could be enjoyed by all readers, liberal or conservative, because it doesn’t take sides in the nation’s political debate.
The novel’s promotional blurb says: "There’s the devil to pay when the second installment in the Realy Paranormal comic urban fantasy series finds rookie paranormal investigators Mike and Ethan Realy tangling with a powerful demon and his minions. "The Devil You Say" finds the Realy brothers, and Mike’s pretty, karate-kicking girlfriend, Noelle, hired by conservative radio talk show star Mark Baxter to investigate strange, occult happenings at his house. Talk about political dirty tricks! The trail leads to a sinister Satanist seeking revenge because Baxter inadvertently blocked the federal stimulus money he needed to bail out his subprime mortgage. Along the way, the team tangles with demonic ventriloquist dummies, a pushy talent agent, a drunken Australian media mogul and a Rottweiler named Bertha. But the demon possessing Baxter is pursuing his own diabolical scheme, and all hell breaks loose during the exciting climax. Good thing Mike’s emerging psychic powers give him an edge.”
In the novel, the fictional Realy brothers live in Shelton, CT, and scenes in this new novel also take place in New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Rowayton, Noroton and Stratford.
Readers are cautioned that the novel contains adult language and is intended for adults.