First published back in May of 2020, British author Duncan P. Bradshaw’s novel ‘Don’t Smell The Flowers! They Want To Steal Your Bones!’ was another dose of hilarious wackiness mixing comedy with horror within the unpredictably creative forecourt of bizzaro.

DLS Synopsis:
The usually quiet village of Charlton had woken from its sleepy slumber with more troubles on its hands than you can shake an orchid at.  Starting the problems, one of the local police offices had been taken hostage by a resident.  It was a tense situation which could easily go very badly from one wrong move.  There was only one person who could sort this mess out.  Against their better judgment, they had to bring in Detective Harry Surge.  A disgraced old school detective, who saw himself as somewhat of a hardcase maverick.  It wasn’t an ideal situation.  Surge was as unpredictable as he was inappropriately dressed.  But the man had balls.  And he’d get the job done.

But even when those troubles are sorted, there’s even worse waiting to bite the sleepy village on the arse.  Weirdly, residents of Charlton have started turning up with plants stuck to their faces, rendering the victims of this strange botanical threat unconscious.

Doctor Petula Finklesmitt, botanist to the stars and shrubbery pruner of the rich and famous, is brought in to find out what the hell’s going on.  Her assessment of the situation paints a troubling picture.  It appears the flowers have been attracting the good people of Charlton with their intoxicating scents.  A scent which these orchids somehow make irresistible to their targets.  Then with the target breathing in the scent, the stigma uses small barbs to latch onto the inner nostril, simultaneously administering a strong anaesthetic, knocking its victim out cold.  This, my friends, is the Harryhausen Orchid.

However, there’s something far more sinister behind the arrival of these dastardly plants.  As the days go by, the bones of their comatose victims start disappearing.  Detective Harry Surge suddenly finds himself thrown into the middle of one of the strangest cases of his life.  Odder still, a mysterious informant, who seems to know a little too much about the matter, begins drip-feeding the speedo-wearing detective with clues nestled inside biscuits.

Something decidedly untoward is transpiring in Charlton.  Something that reaches back into the dark past of the village.  Something terrifying and perverse, which threatens to change the world as we know it.  Nothing is as it seems.  No one can be trusted.  Things are about to get decidedly odd for all concerned.  And if there’s one thing to take away from all this madness, it’s don’t smell the flowers!  They want to steal your bones!...

DLS Review:
From the mind-boggling brain of the flesh and blood insane asylum that is Duncan P. Bradshaw, comes this third ‘Gore Com’ publication offering up another maelstrom of wacky comedy/horror and bizzaro mindfuckery.

If the previous two books in the author’s ‘Gore Com’ series – ‘Mr Sucky’ (2018) and ‘Cannibal Nuns From Outer Space!’ (2019) – didn’t give you enough of a clue as to the lunacy that awaits in this next book, then let me attempt to forewarn you, fair traveller of strange literary worlds.

With ‘Don’t Smell The Flowers…’ you get much, much more than a wacky comedy horror.  You see, this is no normal novel.  The normal rules for writing have never really applied for Mr Bradshaw.  And this one’s no exception.  Instead we have something which reigns supreme in the land of utter unpredictability.  A gibbering goliath of insanity which takes its lead from a desire to entertain through silliness, rather than stick to the confining rules of reality.

This is a chaotic melting pot of so many wild and wonderfully creative ideas.  A mushroom cloud of explosive imagination, bursting with the most ludicrous characters and oddball side-stories you’re likely to ever encounter.  In fact, in ‘Don’t Smell The Flowers…’ we see Bradshaw letting complete go of the reigns, and instead allowing the story to zigzag around an already bonkers plot, with nothing short of gleeful reckless abandonment.

Like so many of the author’s previous offerings, the comedy is unleashed like a relentless barrage of absurdity.  A scattergun approach of silliness, whereby even if only one in ten of the jokes tickles your funny bone, you’ll nevertheless be chuckling near constantly from start to finish.

This is also a remarkably character heavy tale.  One which relies on a monstrously varied cast of characters, who each bring their own magnificently unique flavour to the collective chaos.  As with almost every Bradshaw offering, there’s pop culture references, and cheeky homages a plenty.  We see elements of ‘The Day Of The Triffids’ (1951), pollinating with the likes of ‘Inspector Gadget’, ‘Little Britain’, ‘Monty Python’ and dare I say ‘Midsomer Murders’.

But the mind-boggling headfuckery doesn’t end there.  Throughout the tale Bradshaw flings us repeated curveballs, by smashing through the fourth wall with a solid-steel ballsack of hilarious meta.  Indeed, the author soon becomes as much a part of the story as the multitude of wise-cracking characters.  The narrative darting all over the frigging shop, causing explosive chaos as it goes, like a Guy Fawkes Night rocket set off inside a countryside china shop.

The unadulterated chaotic genius exhibited in this novel is nothing short of spectacular.  Where Bradshaw’s ‘Celebrity Culture’ (2016) upped the ante in respect of erratic lunacy to the nth degree, here we see the author finely tuning his art, letting his characters and creative flare do their thing, however somehow keeping some degree of control to allow for a story that actually makes sense!  The madness may seem so erratic it can seem inconceivable that there’s any discernible direction to it.  But don’t let the silliness and maniacal mountain of subplots and side-stories fool you into thinking there’s no ultimate goal to it all.  That’s where the genius of it sits upon its throne.  There’s a bigger picture to this tapestry of wild character interplay.  A madman’s crazy scheming.

Of course, this is a Bradshaw offering, so expect an accompanying slice of grotesque to all the silly perversity.  The horror is playful, as it embarks upon an incestual relationship with the 70’s mystery sci-fi vibe that forms the overarching ambiance of the tale.  And all through this, in every inch of Charlton and the characters therein, is a triumphant feel of Britishness.  Charming, smartarsed silliness and some of the most hilarious dialogue to match.

In ‘Don’t Smell The Flowers…’ you get nothing short of mind-bogglingly unique comedy horror, exhibiting the unparalleled wackiness of this utterly original author.  The seemingly unending tirade of gags guarantees every page, every paragraph, pretty much every sentence, will have you chuckling away like a half-brained lunatic.  There’s just so much fun to be had from this book.  So much lunacy.  So much jaw-aching entertainment.

You’ve probably never read a novel like this before…and you’re unlikely to ever encounter one like it again.  Such originality is unique.  That is the genius of Duncan P. Bradshaw.

The novel runs for a total of 160 pages.

© DLS Reviews



Make a free website with Yola