Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"The 13th", (Leisure Books), by John Everson

With perhaps his most intense offering yet, Stoker Award winning author John Everson has carved out yet another twisted tale of lust-spiced, bloody mayhem. In a narrative that pays homage to eighties slasher flicks but is also reminiscent of an Edward Lee gore-fest, Everson lays down a gruesome adventure. Bloody horror is about to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting town, driven by two masterminds whose desire for power is only eclipsed by the ancient evil they've conjured.

After failing to make the Olympic biking team, David Shale's not interested in a “normal” summer. Training is his focus, and the twisting, mountainous forest trails surrounding the small town of Castle Point is all he wants to follow. However, when David goes out one night, he encounters a bold, invigorating young woman named Brenda. Chemistry sparks between them and the beer flows, but tired from his training, David passes out at the bar. When he wakes, Brenda has gone, in David's mind just another “one that got away”.

David's future isn't Olympic bound, however, as something insidious spreads through town. Women in the area are disappearing, and coincidently, Castle House Lodge – a previously abandoned resort with a dark history – has reopened for business as a “private asylum for pregnant women.” Christy Sorensen is one of the newest faces in the Castle Point police department, but even so, she's certain something's terrible wrong at the asylum.

Eventually she and David join forces, as David becomes convinced that Brenda, a woman he could've loved, is trapped with other doomed women in the resort. Can they rescue her and any others in time? Or, will they be drowned in a bloody flood of truly “biblical” proportions?

Though there isn't just one character that's perhaps as strongly written as reporter Joe Kieran, (“Covenant”, “Sacrifice”), the overall cast of “The 13th” is balanced, perhaps Everson's strongest assembly of entertaining characters yet. Also, in a tale of blood sacrifice and demonic lust, Everson hits buried, quieter fears: that of hidden darkness in those thought closest. Hitting consistently on subtle terrors such as this is what will continue to carry Everson's career forward.

Visit www.johneverson.com, www.myspace.com/johneverson and www.darkartsbooks.com. Buy it today.

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