The City

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Pub Date 30 Jan 2023 | Archive Date 15 May 2024

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Description

Chinatown, 1910.

A series of ritualistic murders are discovered six months after Max Elliot turned in his badge.

Victims of the media-dubbed “Chinatown Surgeon” are little more than piles of flayed skin. The bones of each body were stolen. This torturous method of execution had only been seen once before and that case remained unsolved.

Confident of a connection between the grisly crimes, police turn to the one man they believe can help.

With the allure of closure to his own personal tragedy, Max Elliot agrees to reinstatement for one last case. But the clues lead the unstable detective down a path he never could have imagined.

Follow Max as he penetrates a supernatural world of drugs, violence, and an ancient race of chemists whose hidden influence shaped human civilization.

Chinatown, 1910.

A series of ritualistic murders are discovered six months after Max Elliot turned in his badge.

Victims of the media-dubbed “Chinatown Surgeon” are little more than piles of flayed...


A Note From the Publisher

Please note: NO requests will be approved within 3 days of the archive date.

This IS a stand alone title. However, the saga does continue with The Order of Eternal Sleep, which is now available on NetGalley.

The series will complete with Dawn of The Serpent Girl, which will be available near the end of 2024.

Please note: NO requests will be approved within 3 days of the archive date.

This IS a stand alone title. However, the saga does continue with The Order of Eternal Sleep, which is now available on...


Advance Praise

“A slick story that combines gumshoe noir and horror.”

- Kristopher Triana, author of Gone to See the River Man

"Mendes' novels are darkly gleaming puzzle-boxes that, once solved, reveal their awesome horrors."

- Joseph Sale, author of Dark Hilarity.

“A slick story that combines gumshoe noir and horror.”

- Kristopher Triana, author of Gone to See the River Man

"Mendes' novels are darkly gleaming puzzle-boxes that, once solved, reveal their awesome...


Marketing Plan

The sequel to The City will release on May 10th, and we are looking for as many Goodreads reviews as possible prior to that date.

S.C. Mendes will be signing at the following events throughout 2024: Tucson Festival of Books (AZ), Authorcon III (VA), Authorcon IV (St. Louis), Killercon (TX), Days of the Dead (AZ), Tucson Comicon, Phoenix Fan Fusion

Please contact us at editor@bloodboundbooks.net if there is a horror-related event near you that you'd love to see our authors at.


The sequel to The City will release on May 10th, and we are looking for as many Goodreads reviews as possible prior to that date.

S.C. Mendes will be signing at the following events throughout 2024:...


Available Editions

ISBN 9781940250564
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Average rating from 18 members


Featured Reviews

In The City we follow homicide detective Max Elliot for one last case as he hunts down serial killer and murderer of his wife, The Chinatown Surgeon. As Max begins to look into this case, things continue to unravel and lead him down a supernatural path unknown to most people, where sex, drugs, and especially violence prevail.

S.C. Mendes delivers a classic detective noir story made unique by the added, incredible elements of extreme horror. If you're a fan of films like The Big Sleep but also a fan of authors like Duncan Ralston and Kristopher Triana, this book will be right up your alley. It's almost like the game L.A. Noire, but with way more violence and gore and its own spin that makes the story much, much darker.

I can't stress enough how well-executed the noir elements of The City are. From the crime-ridden streets of San Fransisco, to the seedy underbelly of the titular city, to the well-writen perfectly juxtaposed pair of detectives doing their best within the confines of a politicky department, every aspect feels deliberate and effective.

Again, the extreme horror elements of this book are also remarkable. There were several times I found myself with my lip curled in disgust, as is to be expected in extreme horror. If you are more sensitive to things like violence, gore, and assault I highly recommend checking out content warnings before diving into this book. That being said, I didn't find any of the violence or gore to be there simply for shock value; it is there to drive home the atmosphere and norms of The City, in which they take place.

It looks like The City is going to be a series, and I personally can't wait to see what happens in the next installment. I do think this book can also be read as a standalone though!

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Gorgeous noir which def earns a 4.5 from me. The entire idea is great and I really think it deserves more attention. Thanks for the arc

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Detective Max Elliot has been specifically requested to help on a mysterious homicide case. One that resembles a gruesome unsolved crime from six months earlier. Although a loose cannon, Elliot just happens to be the best investigator in San Francisco. Unfortunately, Max is personally linked by the cold case and the tragedy surrounding his daughter. Will this investigation finally bring peace and justice to his life or will it be his final case?

S.C. Mendes’ The City, is a puzzle solving narrative where inner demons are explored among an underground city of non-human creatures and skin puppets. Inside this unearthly metropolis lies a place where you can find anything within a world of sinister taboo lifestyles. Mendes brings his writing style to a multi-layered story that flips the world of reality on its head. His ominous creativity carves up flesh and bone within an unforgettable evil environment of pleasure and pain. With the purchase of this book, you have been allowed entrance to Mendes’ dark environment.

I love this original creation of a horror-noir novel. It successfully creates a nitty-gritty ambiance within an unsettling true-crime element. The author is able to capture monstrosities and bizarreness to a new level. Believe me fellow bookworms, there’s plenty of skin crawling moments to satisfy the most morbid reader.

The City is one heck of a mind trip. And by that I mean the extra-dimensional characters were a creepy representation of an unearthly order. Wait till you see the “demons to some, angels to others” aspect that Mendes has assembled. Ya know, mysteries were destined to remain hidden. A Horror Bookworm Recommendation.

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Noir detective fiction and dark fantasy at its best!

Max Elliott is a detective in 1909 San Francisco. Max has very personal reasons for being on the case of a sadistic killer, and during his investigations he discovers the worst in human, and non-human, depravity.

At first I was a little reluctant as this is considered extreme horror but I really enjoyed this medium paced noir horror novel. Parts of this are extreme but not in anyway near as some extreme horror novels. There wasn't so much as to take away from the story.
My only critique is about the time period to which it pertains; Supposedly set in 1909, the characters come across as living in a later time period. The speech is closer to something from the 1940's or '50's and had to remind myself that it was 1909 many times.
However, that said, I did not think it takes anything away from the story itself and I highly recommend.

I think this would appeal to Gaiman fans, fans of dark fantasy, and noir.

I received a free copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you #NetGalley and #BloodBoundBooks for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my own, and unbiased opinion.

The first chapter reminded me of a scene from Johnny Depp's movie "From Hell," and I had more or less an inkling of what this book is all about. But I was wrong. Should Depp's film specifically examine the Jack the Ripper murders, "The City" goes beyond a simple cat-and-mouse pursuit of serial killings. It becomes a deep analysis of the ubiquitous evils of society that loom large and cast a shadow over human lives.

As a detective, Max Elliot is used to seeing the darkest sides of crime and society's ills. When someone brutally murdered his wife, and the disappearance of his child remained a mystery, he finds himself lulled into the opium dens of Chinatown to help overcome his grief. When another case that is similar to how Elliot's wife was mutilated - skin flayed and bones removed - comes up, the police force knows that only Elliot's expertise can solve the killings. As he began his search to lead him to what the media has called the "Chinatown Surgeon," Elliot didn't expect to be led into an underground hellhole known as "The City" - a secret thriving society ruled by reptilian humanoids known as "The Mara." But the horror that resides in this malevolent city that burgeons on perverse spectacles and slave shows where sadists bid upon for sick enjoyment and pleasure was something Elliot was not prepared for.

Gruesome yet suspenseful, "The City" isn't like any other noir I have read. Every chapter will leave you with an afterthought. As the atmosphere became even more sinister, I was left gauging the depths of human depravity. When I came across this book for the first time, I had no idea how deep down a rabbit hole it would take me. It will either repel or draw you in, but once you've consumed the pages, the horror it leaves behind will be the stuff nightmares are made of.

"The City" by S.C. Mendes is not for everyone. Readers like myself, who may have bravely stomached disturbing books in the past, have fallen by the wayside on more than one occasion with this one. The narrative is replete with unsettling graphic content that reflects human nature's dark capabilities. I often wonder what goes on in the author's mind as he drafts this book. However, the fact that underground human trafficking exists leaves an acrid taste of bitter reality. Still, the novel drives home a positive point: people with strong moral values and self-discipline can refuse the temptations of the flesh and soul.

Another point that I think the author wants to impart is the power of choice; despite the seeming inescapable madness once you are in "The City," you are free to come and go as you please as long as you adhere to the twisted rules of the Maras. But, the somber truth reveals itself: even when allowed to walk away, yielding to the lure of malevolence may trap one in an endless state of darkness with no discernible way out.

The author also wishes to illustrate that "the city" and "the surface" (where humans reside) are not at all different, save for the supernatural beings that rule an underground network of sex slavery. In both societies, humans are plagued by desires for sex, drug addiction, torture, and, to some extremes, everyday sadists and human traffickers.

"The City" has a compelling cast of characters and a masterfully written social commentary that sucks you in and won't let go. As the ending leaves on a cliffhanger, there's growing anticipation for the second book, "The Order of Eternal Sleep," which I need to secure a copy of. If you are a sick and twisted crime fiction fan, this book is for you.

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