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The City

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  282 ratings  ·  60 reviews
There is a civilization buried deep beneath our own. A place spoken of only in whispers. If you are desperate enough, you will find it. But remember, all knowledge comes at a price.

* * *
The bodies were discovered six months after Max Elliot turned in his badge. All that remained of the victims were piles of flayed skin and organs. The bones of each body had been stolen.
Kindle Edition, 275 pages
Published May 10th 2017 by Trench Coat Press
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S.C. Mendes Hi Gigi,

Thanks for your interest in the sequel! It's looking like fall 2021 for the sequel. It could be sooner, but that just depends how fast I can f…more
Hi Gigi,

Thanks for your interest in the sequel! It's looking like fall 2021 for the sequel. It could be sooner, but that just depends how fast I can finish a previous manuscript commitment.

If the book is available sooner than fall of next year, I will update everyone at as well as

Thanks again,
S.C. Mendes Hello Ayush,
My intention was to have the sanskrit for "As Above, So Below".

The best the artist and I could do was "Yatha Pinde Tatha Brahmande". Roug…more
Hello Ayush,
My intention was to have the sanskrit for "As Above, So Below".

The best the artist and I could do was "Yatha Pinde Tatha Brahmande". Roughly translated to: "As is the individual, so is the Universe; As is the Universe, so is the Individual.

Sorry it took me so long to respond.


Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  282 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Described as extreme horror combined with crime noir, The City was such an original read that I'd have a hard time describing it. It felt like a very dark version of the Fantastic Beasts movie. Max Elliot lost his wife and daughter in the most horrific circumstances. He was not there for them because... let's say he was up to no good, so that compounds the guilt that has him circling the drain. When a new case comes up with the same MO, Max will take over an investigation that will reveal to him ...more
I find it very hard to believe this is the first book written by S.C. Mendes but all online searches on this author only bring up this one book. Definitely a must read! The City is the most unique book I've read all year and I couldn't put it down. This is one of those books you are a little leery about assigning a genre too, while "thriller' does fit, it hardly does the book justice. I think I'll make a "just a damn good book, don't worry about the genre' category" ;)

**Notes after a second rea
Tara Losacano
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely facsinating! The City is twisted and unpredictable and one of the best books I've read all year. I'm not usually into crime noir but I'm so happy I gave this a try anyways because it was different from any other book I've ever read and I just did not want it to end. I'm hoping S.C. Mendes writes a sequel to this, because the ending was left open for one. I would be thrilled to see that happen. I highly recommend this book to any and all fans of horror ...more
Büchergnom DaRo
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
And it began so… „normal“:
Max, a former police-officer, whose wife was murdered in most disgusting manner and daughter disappeared without a trace, is consulted on a case of murder: the victims were skinned and gutted… also their bones were removed – just like it happened to his wife …

And then everything takes its course: conjectures and hopes, the journey into the unknown to find answers – in „The City“…

„The City“ is a city under the city. A sense of sin, in which nothing is impossible, nothing
mike frazier
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good book

I've read so many books lately that I was burned out. Amazon recommended this book as a suggestion for me to read. It's been on my list for a long time but I never gave it a chance. The reason I didn't is because of the cover. The author writes extreme horror but writes it well and not amateurish like other authors in this genre (Tim Miller,Sam West, etc) The plot is good and the depravity not overdone. It has a good ending and the story ties in well together. Unlike other authors who t
Kristopher Triana
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slick story that combines gumshoe noir and extreme horror. Mendes creates a dark, subterranean metropolis right out of a Burrough's novel and fills it with diverse characters, from opium-smoking homicide detectives to dismemberment-obsessed serial killers. The City is a little slow at times, but the overall effect is reminiscent of Dashiell Hammett and Thomas Harris at the same time. Highly recommended. ...more
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Max is an ex-detective whose daughter is missing and his wife is dead. Tracked down by the police investigate a similar killing of three young women, Max is thrust from a Raymond Chandler novel of the hard-boiled detective to an underground world inspired by Lovecraft.
This book can be gruesome at times but is still a well written fast-paced read.
For anyone with a love of either genre, this is well recommended.
This was provided by Netgalley for an honest review.
Bryan Moyer
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surreal, dark, and possessing a break neck intensity The City is a gripping novel. The creatures that populate the city, the darkness of mankind on constant display, and the flawed and true to life like characters grab you from the start and don't let go. I didn't want it to end, and I am definitely looking forward to more. ...more
Melissa Potter
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This novel is a crazy ride! Its was recommended to me by another favorite author, and I'm so glad I read it. Its disturbing, it's dark, and the characters are fascinating. By the end of the book, you are really liking Max Elliot, and it felt to me it was possibly left open for a part two, which I would read in a heartbeat if that happens. ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a freakin' awesome read this was! You can see my full review here... ...more
Jennifer  Peters
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Would give more stars if I could.

If you like the gritty, dark writings of Bryan Smith, you’re in for a surprise with this book.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dark and hard

But soft in good ways too .... Take a trip to the city and be careful not to dig it too much
David Wright
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away. I have never heard of this author, but I can't wait for the next book that he writes. This spoke to me on so many levels. At first glance, this may be dismissed as a glorified murder novel with extra gore, but this is nothing like that at all.
Without spoiling the plot, we have a detective investigating a gruesome murder, who becomes gradually drawn into a mystery that pushes him to the brink of his humanity. This is not for people easily offended, so be warned, there are
Michael Rhames
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, kindle, favorites
I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for lending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

* * *4.5 stars* * *

I'll lead with what I disliked just to get it out of the way and not because it holds more weight than what I liked. It's pretty obvious to me that the loaned copy was likely a first draft so it contained a few grammar errors, words out of context, in short, things that should have been corrected with good proofreading and editing. It's one thing to have to look up a
Brett Grossmann
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book deserved aan extra star to make up for the cheap lousy cover art. Book is so much better than the cover. It deserves a real cover. Epic length book I was prepared to give 5 stars to till the book chose an open ending. I am tired of books built to be series. This book would make an excellent series. Just find an ending that works. Instead the author racks on a “leave a good review at anazon “ ending. Supposedly so “we” can finish another book. Who is we? Is the author name hiding a group of ...more
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was truly surprised by this book. I expected an average read but wound up with one of the best books I've read this year. A combination of the hardboiled and Lovecraftian with a good dose of gore for good measure. THE CITY is unpredictable as well. Right when I thought I saw something coming the book throws a curveball. Check it out. You will not be disappointed. ...more
Tony Gragg
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great tale, and wonderful world building. S. C. Mendes has a knack for description, so much so that i could almost smell, and feel the different places in this story. From the opium dens, crime scenes, and the underground world as well. This has an open-ended ending, and i would love to find out what happens with Max, and Ming.
Definitely read this. A great escape, and a great story...
John Morris
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A multi layered horror!

How would anyone begin to classify this story? Murder mystery? Sci-fi? Fantasy? Sadistic horror? Well, this story has it all. It entertained and repulsed me in equal measure. Certainly, not a book for the faint hearted but the story was both addictive and entertaining. I've never quite read anything like it before.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I could really dig into this one. I love the combination of the noir with the mysterious underground civilization. Who wouldn’t get into that? Nice stuff.
Robert Hederman
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good book easy reading

This book was very different, easy to read and has an interesting story. Look forward to future book and more on the characters introduced in this story
Heather Clowes
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I was very unsure of reading this book but once started I came to the conclusion that I needed to read it all to see how it ends, just need the next one now.
Mike Duke
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Holy Crap Toto!! Where the hell are we????

The City by S. C. Mendes is an engrossing, taboo delight of a novel that will suck you in to the underground depths of depravity, freedom and forbidden fruit and knowledge it has to offer. But at a price, certainly. Knowledge is never free. It is always experiential and can bring life or death to the soul…but you won’t know which till you taste it. And sometimes it only takes one taste to create an addict, a murderer, a runaway whore, a lost cause – one
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very well written and quite original. If you aren’t into extreme you might not want to read this one but if you are, definitely check it out. It’s a noir mystery wrapped up in an extreme horror that takes you to a world that is really original and fascinating. Can’t wait for the sequel!
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, horror
This This is a tough one to review. Because it’s a really good book, but it’s also extremely off putting. I have a strong stomach and I’m hard to shock, but there were points here that were almost a little too much for me. Think of this as an Event Horizon kind of book. Outstanding, too be sure, excellent all the way around, but scenes in it that will haunt your dreams.

Also, the kind of movie, and book, that you can only recommend very, very carefully.

There is a lot of deeply distur
Eleanor Merry
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic debut

I had heard about this from a number of people and finally gave it a shot. I can see what the fuss is about, it is an excellent and unique read. There are some pretty cringe worthy visuals, but it feels like more than your typical horror story.
It's kind of interesting how I didn't particularly like any of the main characters. They are well written, don't get me wrong, but not very good or likable people. Even still, the investment in the stories is there. The world building is exc
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Horror
Shelves: 5-stars, kindle
WOW How to describe this book. Horror or Dark Fantasy or mind boggling? Some very sick strange murders leads a troubled detective to an underground world that feeds on mans evil. How far will man go to hurt man? How dark are the nature of desire. Can man find good after evil has entered their lives. This is an underworld you wouldn't think of until you read this. I had a hard time putting it down. If there is another book to this series, I want it. ...more
Margaret Bechtol
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book

This is an original horror story,I read it fast because it’s a book you don’t want to put down. Some parts are dark, not everyone will like it. I’ve read darker, it reminded me of reading HP Lovecraft when I was a teenager. I also knew what some of the twists would be, still worth reading. Looking forward to the next installment.
steven duane
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great story about the subterranean terrors we never knew existed.

Max is a broken man. He is a drug addict, a widower, a fallen cop, and a man with a mission. That mission is to find his missing daughter, and get vengeance for his wife's murder. To complete this mission he must go below the streets of San Francisco, and confront the inhuman horrors that await.
Diane Stevenson
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This was not what I expected! Thought it was a crime thriller but it turned out to be so much more. It's really hard to describe it without giving spoilers. However, if you enjoy urban fantasy with a bit of period horror, you'll love this. I'm off to discover if there's a sequel.
Richard Bradley
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well-written horror story

There will probably be some readers that will be offended by the subject matter of this book. Is you can get past all that, this story will pull you in. It is a true horror story. It is easy to read. Will look for more from the author.
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Learn to appreciate the darkest moments of your life. It is those moments that make our time in the light even more beautiful. S.C. Mendes is the author of numerous short stories and a fan of pen names. The anonymity helps maintain his day job as an indoctrinator of children for the state. THE CITY is the beginning of the Max Elliot saga.

Mendes welcomes reader emails via


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