REVIEW: 'Grimm Tales of Terror Quarterly: H. H. Holmes' by Jay Sandlin, Rodrigo Xavier, and Maxflan Araujo

With 9 confirmed and 200 suspected souls on his hands, HH Holmes is one of the most notorious serial killers of all time. It has been over 100 years and his name is still synonymous with murder and torture.

But now over a century later in the city of Chicago bodies are showing up, and the way they are being found is way too familiar to those who know the history of this city. Is there a copycat loose showing their idolization for the famed killer or is there something more sinister happening here? 80 pages.

Grimm Tales of  Terror Quarterly: H. H. Holmes

Writer: Jay Sandlin

Art: Rodrigo Xavier & Allan Otero

Colors: Maxflan Araujo & Vinicius Andrade

Letters: Carlos M. Mangual

Publisher: Zenescope

Release Date: 4/7/21

Price: $8.99

Score:

★★★★☆ (4/5)

If you like slasher flicks, true crime, serial killers, murder mysteries, and horror then 'Grimm Tales of Terror Quarterly: H. H. Holmes' by Jay Sandlin, Rodrigo Xavier, Allan Otero, Maxflan Araujo, Vinicius Andrade, and Carlos M. Mangual was made just for you. 

The H. H. Holmes in the title refers to the notorious American serial killer who was convicted of only one murder in 1894 despite confessing to 27 more but is believed to have killed as many as 200. The infamous mixed-use building he purchased in Chicago dubbed the "murder castle" was the epicenter of his crimes. Officials found secret passageways, false partitions, hidden hinged walls, and chutes that led to the basement where Holmes would torture his victims, dismember them and sell their organs to science for money. That's not all of it, but Holmes was a psychopath with meticulous attention to detail and deception. 

He appears to be the inspiration for a copycat killer in the present day as the murder of a young woman at the Gemini Hotel raises some questions. Former detective, Susan Murphy, has been hired by the hotel owner Walter Lewis to lead security and investigate the incident. Self-proclaimed professor Harold Myers, an expert on Holmes, joins the investigation and immediately finds eerily similar patterns. 

From there, the mystery only deepens with one revelation after another. In order not to give away too much, the reader is taken on a 72-page roller coaster rider of terror and twists. It's not for the squeamish or faint of heart. Sandlin has constructed an elaborate maze of horror that comes full circle in a satisfying but frightening series of events. When the object of emulation is a sadistic monster you can expect a lot of blood and violence. 

And there is a lot of blood but the art team finds some restraint in depicting the violence. Not to worry though, it's still very much Rated R material. There's a nice contrast between the present-day scenes and the flashbacks as the art teams alternate. The flashbacks tend to have bolder brighter colors than present-day which is rather uncommon. Normally, flashbacks are depicted in faded tones or in a monochromatic palette. This is the opposite but it works well for this story. Mangual's lettering is well done but shines when it comes to screams of torture splashed crossed the panels. 

'Grimm Tales of Terro Quarterly: H. H. Holmes' is the super-sized edition of a horror fans' dream. Filled with mystery and real-life facts about Holmes, the basis for this tale takes on a life of its own. Cleverly conceived just well enough to keep the reader guessing through most of it, 'Grimm' is a twisted and bone-chilling walk through a house of horrors. 

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