|Author:||Gary A. Braunbeck
Leisure Books, 2008
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Horror specialist Braunbeck has published so exclusively within the field that his books have largely eluded general review media. The novel and two stories in Coffin County show what those media, at least, have been missing. Set in and near Cedar Hill, Ohio, a midwestern version of Arkham, the capital of H. P. Lovecraft’s personal Massachusetts, the novel is a pell-mell gore fest, whose supernatural perps leak from an alternate reality that interfaces with Cedar Hill. The hero is a cop still mourning his pregnant wife’s death three years ago, and the villain may be, ultimately, either Judas Iscariot or the narrator, who’s not naming names; we “may have figured it out” by the end, he says. Also set in Cedar Hill, one story presents a musical duel between fallen angels over the fate of humanity; the other, how deeply factory work can get into, if not a man’s blood, then his bloodline. Piquantly exuding rust-belt angst, this is tasty stuff for those who like blood and guts seasoned with smarts.
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