Monday, July 12, 2010

Walkers by Graham Masterton

(pb; 1989)

From the back cover:

"It didn't take long for Jack Reed to decide to convert the huge gothic building in the woods into an idyllic, up-market country club.

"But behind the ornately carved walls of The Oaks lurks a past that was anything but idyllic. Sixty years ago the house was an asylum, home to crazed psychopaths -- all of whom disappeared one night, never to be seen again.

"Now the empty rooms echo the soundless screaming of the madmen trapped inside the brick and plaster, walking endlessly through the maze-like mansion. And now Jack's son, dragged into the hellish prison of the walls, is held a screaming hostage by Quintus Miller, leader of the insane.

"Quintus took the killers into the walls. Now, he insists, Jack Reed will set them free -- or his son will die."


Landmark work that takes its subject way beyond its specific-source subgenre (spookhouse fiction) -- Masterton keeps it creepy (and f**ked-up funny in some parts), continually ratcheting up the terror factor and the unexpected plot and character turns. More than the usual "ooooh, scary ghosts" horror fare, Masterton not only manages to raise the genre bar, but morphs it into something greater, while thematically linking it to his five-book The Manitou series: an added perk for Masterton's "regular" readers.

Worth owning, this.

1 comment:

megastein said...

Wow, never heard of this guy, but this post and the information on has convinced me I need to take a headlong plunge into his body of work. Sounds fantastic!!!

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