Last year, I was finally able to get my hands on some Michael McDowell books and I loved them. A good friend of mine,( Tressa, that would be you!), had been recommending them for years, but they were all out of print and difficult to find. I was very excited when I discovered that Valancourt Books was bringing some of these novels back. And, BONUS! My excitement was well founded because this book, (and the others) were a blast!
Evil in a small town is one of my favorite themes, and if it's a town in the south, all the better. This author has the speech patterns down, since he's from Alabama, and it's reflected in the dialogue throughout this tale.
The story begins with the mysterious death of young Margaret Larkin and the effect that it has on her family. The Larkin family has it tough to start with and this might be the final straw. From there,the mystery spreads throughout the town, on past the possible murder suspects, and into the Styx River. (Just a short way downstream the Styx joins with the Perdido, which was the crux of The Blackwater Series by this author.)
The beginning sets the scene and from that point, the story continues to get dark. Very dark. And horrific. Truly horrific. The victims of violent crime rarely rest in peace and they get NO rest in this amazing, dark fiction novel. The last 25% of this book was un-put-downable. It races to the final and dark conclusion and the reader has no choice but to hang on tight!
Michael McDowell was an exceptional author and screenwriter. He wrote the screenplays for Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, among others. This novel was outstanding and I highly recommend it to any horror fan, but especially to fans of late 70s and 80s horror! Trust me, you will kick yourself if you wait any longer to jump into the River Styx. Seriously, you will.
Find this review and others like it at HorrorAfterDark.com.
*A free e-copy of this novel was provided by Valancourt Books in exchange for an honest review. This is it!*