After the nostalgia and sheer brilliance of ANIMALS & MONSTERS I tucked into BULLY, a lesser known novel by Gonzalez. Danny Hernandez was a young kid. He was frequently out skateboarding with his best-friend Bobby Whitsett, when they are targeted by another kid, Raul Valesquez. Raul was real a bad one, a bully. He lived at home with his two older brothers and drunken prostitute mother. Then, one day, Raul was found murdered. His body raped and dumped in a pool.
Now, 29 years later, Danny Hernandez’s life is turned upside down when cop and old friend, Tom Jensen, knocks on his door, after doubts are cast over the original conviction and the case is re-opened. All wasn’t as it seemed on the quiet suburban streets of Los Angeles back in the summer of ‘77. Jensen uncovers a criminal underworld and he’s convinced Danny Hernandez is hiding something from his past. With the re-opening of the case life for both Danny and Tom will change forever.
JF Gonzalez is best known for his snuff classic SURVIVOR, but it’s some of his lesser known novels that fans should be seeking out. Like FETISH and IT DRINKS BLOOD. I would add BULLY to this group. It’s a book that should be discussed in the same terms as SURVIVOR. It will leave you with an uneasy feeling. We all know the evils the human race can inflict upon one another. It’s real horror where man is the animal, not some supernatural beast. JF Gonzalez is one of the best and BULLY had me hooked. I can’t recommend it enough. (Jack Bantry)