08 August 2008

So I read this: The Midnight Hour by Donald Bacon.

This book is kind of a mess. It's pretty much equally split between ancient evil/unspeakable pagan rite horror, reincarnated woman-in-jeopardy suspense, and Stokerian boxed narrative, with a leavening patina of graphic sex that feels out of place compared to the rest of the book.

Caroline Enders is an up-and-coming banker in New York City who, despite still attending banking classes, is finally making enough to get a place of her own and move out from the walk-up she's been sharing with her longtime friend Beth (and, more recently aplpha male Harry, the kind of brusque male presence who you know will eventually get hammered and honed down into the principal love interest).

Unfortunately for Caroline, she gets the apartment that used to belong to insane art historian Mondrian de Kuyperdahl, whose been the keeper of an ancient pre-Druidic relic that is the only thing keeping a demonic 'messenger' (the book's terminology) from decapitating the world and tormenting their souls forever while their heads are stored in an ominous wooden cabinet.

We've got a human follower of the messenger whom we know is evil because he messes up library books, lots of excerpts from de Kuyperdahl's diaries, which provide all the context, important information, and sex that we get in the story, and a couple of lengthy drives upstate to either get away from or sew the seeds of evil. Unfortunately, this has an inconsistent worldview and the most anticlimactic ending I've encountered in a while.

If you're at all into 80s-career-feminist horror or Druidic/Celtic history/mythology, there are some interesting moments within. But this isn't essential reading, and even as a devotee of 80s/90s mass-market horror paperbacks, I'd have to call this effort middling. The cover looks awesome, though.

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