zondag 27 augustus 2017

"Goat Dance" by Douglas Clegg

"'Good lord, Cup, you talk about her as if...'
'As if what?' I was impatient. Whatever the worst was, I wanted to hear. She'd gone crazy, she'd killed someone, she was a wore, she set fire to buildings (...)
'As if,' he finally finished his sentence, his hands covering his face, 'she were still alive.'"

Young Teddy Amory falls through a crack in the ice and is underwater for forty minutes. Miraculously, she survives the accident. But is it really her who was rescued? A year later, her father commits suicide. Her brother kills their mother and sets the house on fire.

Malcolm 'Cup' Coffey left the town of Pontefract many years ago. Now, he receives a phone call from his lost love Lily, who asks him to return. But when he arrives in Pontefract, he finds out Lily died long ago.

All over Pontefract, sightings are reported of people who died a long time ago.

Professor Prescott finds out that in Pontefract's history, something unspeakably evil happened, and this has now come back to haunt the town.

I bought this book when it came out, nearly thirty years ago, but never got around to reading it. Maybe I thought it was too 'splatterpunk' for me. But now I thought I'd give it a go anyway. The book does have its share of blood and gore, but for about half the book I was pleasantly surprised that it was mainly character driven. It's a quite complex story, with lots of characters. The mystery builds up very nicely. For a while I thought I was reading a five-star horror novel. After that, though, hell breaks loose and the author loses his way a bit. There's a bit too much of people ripping others (and themselves) open, eating them and all sorts of distasteful stuff. Now, I do like a fair share of bood and gore in my horror novels, but too much is too much. In the end, though, the author manages to tie up everything nicely.

Author: Douglas Clegg
Title: Goat Dance
Publisher: Pocket Books, New York
Year: 1989
Number of pages: 422 p.
ISBN: 0671664255

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