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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Curse of the Murderous Dummy is a work of dynamic horror fiction penned by author Michael Ray Laemmle and forms the first novel of the Atomic City Terror series. Set in the series’ titular town, science fiction, fantasy, and horror collide in this place where the atomic bomb was first constructed. Evil lurks here, and scientist Jim is right at the center of a devastating new discovery. A love of ventriloquism seems to link the central characters, including a murderous dummy with a mind of its own. What follows is a darkly comedic horror romp with plenty of scares and laughs along the way.
Author Michael Ray Laemmle brings to life a quintessential horror town with plenty of bang for its buck in this, the opening to the Atomic City Terror series. With lots of playful homages to classic eighties horror thrown in, the vibes from this dark and creepy little place hark back to the golden age of horror atmosphere. The wordplay is both cinematic and amusing, with colorful injections of dark humor that cut through the tension but also often mask the next big shock that’s coming. The demon dummy concept has been done before, but Laemmle handles this intelligently and pokes fun at the old ways before bringing forth his fresh new twists on the genre and its many tropes. Overall, Curse of Murderous Dummy will suit those adults who never really wanted to grow out of Goosebumps: a dark and intelligent murder comedy with tons of atmosphere and charm.