horns

Joe Hill
HarperCollins
2010

Ignatius Martin Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things.  He woke the next morning with a headache, put his hands to his temples, and felt something unfamiliar, a pair of knobby pointed protuberances.

Merrin Williams is dead, slaughtered under inexplicable circumstances, leaving her beloved boyfriend Ignatius Perrish as the only suspect.  On the first anniversary of Merrin’s murder, Ig spends the night drunk and doing awful things.  When he wakes the next morning he has a thunderous hangover…and horns growing from his temples.  Ig possesses a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look – a macabre gift he intends to use to find the monster who killed his lover.  Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere.  Now it’s time for revenge…it’s time the devil had his due…

Okay, so, here’s the thing.  I find myself a fan of Joe Hill’s prose work.  After reading first Heart Shaped Box, and then his short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, I was hooked on the guy’s style.  Now, after reading a trade paperback edition of his 2010 novel Horns, I must admit to being a full-fledged fan of the man’s output.  The problem is – his work on the comic series Locke & Key notwithstanding – there’s only the three books from him.  And I’ve read them already.  It’s not like when I got into, say (just picking it out at random, no reason at all) Stephen King back in the day, where after reading a couple there were still the plethora of novels by him to get my fix on, and…

Huh?  What’s that?  No, there was no reason I brought up Stephen King.  What?  No, you’re crazy. That can’t be right.  Feh.  Moving along…

Horns is Joe Hill’s second full-length novel, and let me tell you – he seems to have a very natural talent to tell a tale that is fantastical, yet in a way that seems quite plausible.  The characters, the dialogue between everyone, the entire scope of the story, everything seemed fleshed out and palpable without getting bogged down too much. The story kept on at a good clip, and though there were a couple of points where it may have dragged a skosh, overall this tale was over far too quickly.  Horns is a fantastic supernatural mystery thriller that kept me turning the pages, and lamenting the times where I had to put down the book for such mundane things as “working” or “sleeping” or “eating” and stuff like that.  Highly recommended.  Now, to wait for the next book.  This could be excruciating.

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