Ray Zacek’s The Tatman is an intense tale of relationships of all kinds: sexual, friendly, and predatory. In it, protagonist Stephanie gets a weekend visit from her old friend Jen and Jen’s new boyfriend, the enigmatic, heavily tattooed Jason. Sparks fly.
The dialogue is very snappy and realistic, showing Zacek’s facility with the rhythm of how people truly talk: they don’t always communicate, let alone agree. Combined with the frank discussions about sex, the relationships between the characters take on a free-wheeling late-1970’s John Updike vibe. Looming over everything is Jason, the titular Tatman, and how he throws an already volatile situation into chaos with his virile, masculine presence.
Disquieting rather than disturbing, The Tatman is a short read that straddles the line between horror and thriller, and is well worth your time.