Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Jonathan Maberry is a writer to watch. He's written a lot of nonfiction, both books and articles, but he made his first foray into long-form horror with a novel called Ghost Road Blues in 2006. It promptly won a Stoker award, and it was a well deserved win. I read the book last year, and blurbed it, and today I got in the mail from Amazon Jonathan's second horror novel, Dead Man's Song. I'll be starting this in the next day or two, and am looking forward to it.
Ghost Road Blues takes place in Pine Deep, a smallish Pennsylvania town that was visited by a serial killer thirty years earlier. That killer was killed in turn, but the evil that arrives just before Halloween thirty years later seems to have old roots, roots that begin to twist and twine through the town, intent on destroying it from within. “Ghost Road” was the first novel that I’d read in quite a while that actually gave me shivers. I thought it was very atmospheric, with solid action scenes, great suspense all along, and some chilling imagery. If I had to pick some influences on “Ghost Road,” I’d say that it reminded me a bit in places of works by Joe Lansdale and Robert McCammon. There is also some Ray Bradbury influence, and maybe a smidgen or two of Charles Grant. The cover of the second book mentions King but I think that’s just publicity. I didn’t really see a lot of King in “Ghost Road,” although Maberry has a similar knack for creating everyday characters that stick with you.
“Ghost Road” is actually the first book of a trilogy, although I felt that it stood well on its own. Dead Man’s Song is the sequel, and I’m not sure what the third book is to be called. I really recommend “Ghost Road,” and I’ll let you know what I think of “Dead Man” after I finish it. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about Jonathan Maberry, his website is here.
Oh, and Dead Man’s Song even mentions me in the thank you section, and has my blurb for “Ghost Road” included among many others. How cool is that?