Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Shadow Child by Joseph A. Citro

(pb; 1987: prequel to Guardian Angels)

From the back cover

"Eric Nolan is a man already too familiar with death. His brother's disappearance, the loss of his parents, and his wife's recent demise have left him near the edge. In desperation he returns to his boyhood home, his grandparents' farm in rural Vermont, now occupied by his cousin Pamela and her family. But Eric's solace is short-lived. Something terrible is going on in the woods nearby; its center seems to be a mysterious stone structure. The mystery deepens as people begin to vanish. As baffling incidents continue, it becomes harder to deny that a powerful malevolent force is at work in the Green Mountains. Eric must confront a reality he can neither accept not deny."


Shadow Child is an excellent, fast-paced 'horror in a small Vermont town' novel that brings together fairy tale-esque terror, occasional gore and well-written characters. Given its familiar storyline and its other genre limitations, it is not a landmark work. It is, however, a top-notch genre work for its superb writing, mounting sense of menace and entertaining effect.

Fans of Gary Brandner's Howling trilogy and Stephen King's early works may want to check this out.

Followed by Guardian Angels.

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