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J. Malcolm Stewart

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The Eyes of the Stars
by J. Malcolm Stewart   

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Books by J. Malcolm Stewart
· Look Back In Horror: A Personal History of Horror Film
· Twisted Tails VII-Irreverence
                >> View all

Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  Double Dragon Press ISBN-10:  15554049768 Type: 
Pages: 

224

Copyright:  May 30, 2012 ISBN-13:  9781554049769
Fiction

Chicago homicide detective Paul Gminski haunted by dark dreams of his late mother. Paul becomes entangled with the serial murders of a mysterious group called the Council of Six. But to do so will force him to answer this question: Who--or what--is Amuz?

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The Eyes of the Stars

Chicago Homicide Detective Paul Gminski is haunted by dark dreams of his late mother. Unable to rest, Paul and his partner Ivey become entangled with the serial murders of a mysterious group called the Council of Six. Someone or something is killing the group's members, each of whom possesses a piece of an ancient collection of relics called The Eyes of the Stars.

Paul finds himself in a desperate race against time as he battles to unravel the mystery of the Eyes of the Stars. But doing so will force him to answer the question: Who--or What--is Amuz


Excerpt

“And He said to me, ‘You will see greater abominations than this… Behold, He brought me to the north gate of the house of the LORD and there sat the women who were weeping for Tammuz.”
Ezekiel 8:13-14

Chapter 1: Chicago, IL, February 27th 2011, 5:56am

For Paul Gminski, the horror that came to Chicago started with his dream. He didn’t know that in the beginning. No, to him, the uneasiness that came to him during his nocturnal hours must have been the result of working too hard, sleeping too little or not having been laid in six months. He didn’t grumble about it at the precinct or go bitch about it at Shirley’s during Happy Hour. He didn’t want to see the union shrink or talk about at some half-assed group therapy session. It was just a dream and nothing more.
Anyway, It wasn’t like he had five years to spend for some pretentious, shit-sheet, Northwestern graduate to tell him that he wasn’t properly breast-fed. He was a cop and cops sometimes had rough times. He didn’t need some overpaid asshole to tell him that. He didn’t need any that weak minded crap. He would be okay.
It wasn’t because of the dream that he started unloading his gun at night. That would be the act of someone who was going crazy. And Paul Gminski was definitely not crazy. At least, he told himself, not yet.
It always went same way. He was back at home in Forest Glen on the curved hump of Dad‘s manicured front yard. He must have been about eight because he and his sister Patty were taking turns throwing the football through the battered tire hanging from the Dutch elm. He remembered that was the case because Patty stopped playing ball when she turned ten and Dad cut the tree down the next year when it was nearly dead. In the dream, Patty stood on the other side of the tire catching his throws through the center and rifling them back through it with surprising precision for a girl.
The summer sun was just beginning to dip low and the smell of the fresh cut afternoon grass was in the air. The neighborhood had the perfect stillness of memory. The only sound to be heard was the dull thump the ball as he and Patty tossed it through the lightly swaying tire. Even in the depths of his dream, Paul could feel the simple joy that this rhythm brought him, washing him once again in familiar childhood expectations. All good things seemed wrapped up in the thudding release and return of the ball. He always found himself hoping it would continue for forever and that nothing would change the way he was feeling at that moment.
It was then he noticed that his Mom was standing on the front porch. Stopping his toss in mid-delivery, he saw that she was watching them in the spreading gloom, the sun filtering through her reddish, blond hair, the breeze tugging the edges of her blue skirt. Watching her stand there, Paul knew what was coming. If running were a possibility, he would have run. But nothing ever stopped what came next.
He noticed in the partial darkness that Mom seemed to be crying, holding her face down in her hands. Letting the ball go, Paul always noticed that it made no sound when it hit the ground. Without a noise, it rolled its way down the grade towards the black gravel at the foot of the driveway. With an eerie speed, he made his way to the broad, wooden steps where she stood, tugging at her skirt, trying to find words of concern to tell her, words of comfort.
But no sound would come from Paul’s 8 year old mouth. Despite struggling with all his might to speak, he could manage nothing through his dry, cracked lips. Mom’s tears continued to fall, slipping through the edges of her fingers down towards him standing at her side. Paul actually could feel her body shaking sobs through her legs as he clutched to them. The light drops of her tears salted his forehead as he held on to her. But, as always, he heard no sound coming from her shaking body.
In the dream, Paul always brought his right hand to his left cheek to wipe away the tears from his eyes that had mingled with the sea of grief unleashed by his mother.
It was at that moment he would see that his hands were covered in blood.
Paul would feel his eyes were drawn to his mother’s face, though he fought it with all the might he could summon. Already knowing what was waiting there never brought relief for Paul. As he saw it in the dream’s eye, night after night, what he saw only deepened the feelings of fear and revulsion in the pit of his stomach.
With those same child’s eyes, Paul saw the gaping sockets where her eyes had once been, her cheeks streaming with dark red ribbons of blood. It was at that moment the silence would be broken. With his mouth shaped in a silent scream and his heart exploding in his chest, Paul Gminski would hear his mother’s blood choked voice say again the same four, small words:
“You, Paulie, only you.”
#
The sharp, metallic ring of his cell phone brought Paul up into the gray darkness of his of his bedroom. As Paul grabbed the silver box from his nightstand, he peered at the time displayed on the face with a grunt. 6:00 AM. A whispered obscenity followed as the caller ID showed it was his partner Ivey calling.
“Yeah, Ivey it’s me.”
“You okay, Paulie?” said Ivey, with an all too familiar tone of annoyance in his raspy baritone voice. “I paged you like 30 minutes ago.”
“Man” said Paul, while rubbing his forehead. “I didn’t hear. I must have been sleeping dead to the world.”
Paul heard a sharp grunt from the receiver.
“Bad choice of words for a homicide detective, brother. Get your ass in gear and meet me down at the Museum of Natural History. We’ve got a body here. I told dispatch you were already en route.”
The implications of Ivey’s words jolted Paul into a more alert state of mind. “Shit, man, how long ago was that?”
“Nearly 40 minutes ago. So hustle. We’ve got a ton of uniforms already crawling around here and I can’t make excuses forever.”
“Yeah, I’m there,” said Paul gruffly, closing the phone with a sharp snap.
Another night had passed again for Paul in a seeming blink of an eye. If he had slept, there were no signs of it. His body ached and his mouth seemed rough as the floor of a desert. As he slid from bed to floor, he wiped the sweat from his shoulders with a flick. A hacking, halting cough suddenly shook his torso, causing Paul to shiver. With a reckless frenzy, he recycled his clothes from the bedroom floor, zipping and stuffing while heading for the bathroom.
As he flicked on the lights, the face in the mirror caused Paul to halt in his tracks. Looking out at him was the face that his father had carried. Worn and lined, his brown eyes bleary, specks of gray spotting the edges of his sandy hair. While rubbing his cheeks, he felt the grime of three days without a shave. He had to laugh at the thought that his father’s face was looking back at him in the mirror. No one had looked more ragged and beaten than the old man when Paul was a teenager. Yet again here was dear old Dad, like death warmed over in the piercing glare of the overhead light.
Without further hesitation, he applied a splash of water to his face and hair, a swig of mouthwash to his teeth. As he passed his bedside, Paul grabbed his holster from the chair back, slinging it over his shoulder with a dip and a flip. He momentarily fumbled over his dresser for the bullet clip he had removed several hours before. With a single motion, Paul inserted the clip and cleared the chamber, grimly thanking himself for remembering to load the damn thing. He dodged the couch and sprung out the front door, ready for the world.



Professional Reviews

Horror that makes you think
By David Watson
The Eyes Of the Stars by Malcolm J Stewart combines mystery and horror while taking a look at a secret society and ancient religion. The story follows Chicago homicide detective Paul Gminski who is haunted by dark dreams of his mother's death. Unable to rest, Paul and his partner Ivey are called to The Field Museum to investigate the brutal murder of one of the museum's employees. The employee is a member of The Council of Six whose members are being viciously slaughtered by something that is not human. The only clue they have is the word Amuz written in blood on a wall at two of the crime scenes.

Each council member possesses a piece of an ancient collection of relics called The Eyes of the Stars. Paul finds himself in a desperate race against time as he battles to unravel the mystery of the Eyes of the Stars. But doing so will pit him and Chicago against an ancient, forbidden evil awaiting rebirth under the city's streets.

I thought The Eyes Of The Stars got off to a slow start and I was confused at first because the religious aspects of the book and the secret society were not explained until later on, so you have to get past the beginning to get into it. Also there were some typos in the version I read which did take away from the story a little.

On the bright side I like how the mystery unfolds. Little by little you find out about the Council of six's motivations and you learn about the zealots and Nephilim and what they have to do with the murder spree. My favorite part in the book was when a character named Sulya describes what the bible is really all about. Also the villains in the story are great. I don't want to give anything away but I loved how The forbidden One is revealed.

I also like how its shown what side of the fence another one of the characters is on. When the other villain finds out that bringing The Forbidden One back to Earth is not in their best interest, its great watching them get there just desserts. I guess the point here is, it doesn't pay to be evil. The scene where The Forbidden One rises and you see what makes up this creature is an extremely creepy scene.

My favorite character was Paul. I like how his past was presented and seeing how an event from his childhood managed to destroy his relationship with his wife and daughter and effect every aspect of his life. There is one scene where two of the heroes in the story are having a romantic moment and he wonders if he has ever had a love like the one they share and then he remembers he has had that with his ex-wife.

Paul doesn't want to be the person he is but he can't get over his past and it effects everything. I think the theme Malcolm J Stewart is trying to get across here is how one person making a bad decision and not being able to get over it effects everyone. There is also a good point made about how religion is created and the true difference of good and evil.

The Eyes Of The Stars works on several different levels. It is a character driven piece, a horror story, a mystery and a story about philosophy. I think its a book that everyone can get something out of.


Chilling Horror Mystery
By Max R. Tomlinson
This review is from: The Eyes Of The Stars (Kindle Edition)
This chilling horror/mystery follows Chicago Homicide Detective Paul Gminski as he and his partner investigate the inexplicable murders of a covert group with a link to a collection of ancient relics. Video footage of the deaths shows an unworldly, paranormal turn as bodies fly through the air. Paul battles his own demons as he descends, almost literally, into hell in order to comprehend The Eyes of the Stars. Not for the squeamish, this debut novel effectively balances two genres and will keep horror fans looking over their shoulder as they turn pages. The lead character, Paul Gminski, is well drawn.


Bible, Intrigue, and More
By Valerie Frankel
From the far corners of Yemen to the streets of Chicago, an ancient horror-mystery unfolds...
The tale begins with a gruesome murder and the action keeps going from there. An intriguing, gripping adventure from start to finish. Nephilim are popular now, and this one takes its place among the greats of the genre. These nephilim have passed on their secret teachings from ancient times through today.With references to Lilith and ancient demons, the author has really done his Biblical research. With art, ancient history, and the mysterious Council of Six, this book carries a few vibes over from the Da Vinci Code as well.


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Books by
J. Malcolm Stewart



Look Back In Horror: A Personal History of Horror Film

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The Eyes of the Stars

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Twisted Tails VII-Irreverence

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