Paul Allen

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In Lisa Gardner’s third thriller featuring feisty Boston police detective D.D. Warren (after 2005’s Alone and 2007’s Hide), The Neighbor focuses on an attractive young wife and mother who inexplicably disappears from her suburban home. Sandra Jones was a sixth-grade social studies teacher at a local middle school, a well-liked employee, the doting mother to a precocious four-year-old daughter, and a seemingly devoted wife to her handsome husband, a reporter at the Boston Daily. So why would she abandon her daughter in the middle of the night and leave without taking any money, identification or clothing?

When Warren is called in to investigate the bizarre disappearance, she finds the husband—who should be overwrought—eerily detached and uncooperative. “His eyes were empty, like staring into pools of starless night,” she notes. To complicate matters, Warren soon has several persons of interest: Aidan Brewster, an oversexed neighbor who happens to be a convicted sex offender; Ethan Hastings, an eighth-grade computer nerd who was helping Mrs. Jones with a teaching module about the Internet and apparently has a crush on her; and Wayne Reynolds, Ethan’s uncle and a certified forensic computer examiner who may or may not be romantically linked to the comely teacher.

Both Sandra Jones and her husband have histories that are shadowy at best. As Warren methodically unearths more and more information about the enigmatic couple’s past, she begins to realize that outward appearances can be deceiving—and that unspeakable evil can lurk inside anyone.

Powered by a cast of realistically portrayed—and deeply flawed—characters as well as a virtual closet full of nightmarish plot twists, Gardner’s latest is a pulse-pounding page-turner of the highest order. Fans of emotionally super-charged thrillers should be forewarned, however, to make sure all the doors are securely locked before reading. Or better yet, bring this one to the beach—and start reading well before sunset.  

In Lisa Gardner’s third thriller featuring feisty Boston police detective D.D. Warren (after 2005’s Alone and 2007’s Hide), The Neighbor focuses on an attractive young wife and mother who inexplicably disappears from her suburban home. Sandra Jones was a sixth-grade social studies teacher at a local middle school, a well-liked employee, the doting mother to a […]
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The Vanguard Press edition of Douglas Clegg’s Neverland (originally published in 1991 by Pocket Books)—like 2009’s reissue of Isis—features haunting interior illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne; the eerie, meticulously detailed images brilliantly complement the Southern Gothic story of one extended family’s far from idyllic summer vacation on an isolated peninsula off the coast of Georgia.

 
For 10-year-old Beau Jackson, the annual late August trek from his home in Richmond, Virginia, to his grandmother’s ancestral property on a Georgia peninsula known as Gull Island is a dismal one. For two weeks, Beau will have to deal with his constantly arguing parents as well as his alcoholic aunt and uncle, swarms of mosquitoes, unbearable humidity—and his weird cousin Sumter Monroe.
 

But this summer proves to be different from past vacations. Sumter, always a little strange, is downright disturbing. Obsessed with a decrepit shack at the edge of the property, Sumter makes it his own personal clubhouse and names it Neverland, a place where grown-ups are forbidden and an old human skull is worshipped as a destroying god. Compelled to Neverland to escape the dysfunction and alcohol-fueled fights inside Grammy Weenie’s house (ironically called The Retreat), Beau and his older twin sisters Missy and Nonie enter Sumter’s dark sanctuary and become entangled in a web of evil that includes thievery, animal sacrifices, blood drinking, demon worship and, quite possibly, facilitating the beginning of the end of the world.

 

Written from the point of view of a 10-year old, Clegg’s narrative is simultaneously an innocent coming of age tale replete with prepubescent imagery (consuming Yoo-hoo chocolate soda and Mallomar treats, old Playboys stashed away like hidden treasure, awkward first kisses, etc.) and a pulse-pounding, bladder-loosening horror featuring nightmarish monstrosities and gruesome action.

 

As the story unfolds, readers aren’t certain whether the burgeoning evil is actually occurring or if it’s just Sumter’s visions taking root in Beau’s susceptible mind: “The world was coming apart, and I didn’t know anymore what was real and what was imagined.”

 

Additionally, the dichotomy between childhood and the adult world is a powerful motif throughout. In youth there is purity and truth; adults live enmeshed in lies. For example, Gull Island is not an island but a peninsula. The Retreat is anything but a haven. Rabbit Lake is not a lake, etc.

 

Horror aficionados should cherish this beautifully illustrated reissue—and even though it was published almost two decades ago, the story is a timeless one and is still as haunting today as it was back in 1991. Classic Clegg unearthed.      

 

The Vanguard Press edition of Douglas Clegg’s Neverland (originally published in 1991 by Pocket Books)—like 2009’s reissue of Isis—features haunting interior illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne; the eerie, meticulously detailed images brilliantly complement the Southern Gothic story of one extended family’s far from idyllic summer vacation on an isolated peninsula off the coast of Georgia.   […]
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Joe Schreiber’s brilliantly creepy debut novel will have discerning horror connoisseurs everywhere comparing it to terror-inducing classics like Stephen King’s Pet Sematary and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. Equal parts supernatural horror and psychological thriller, the majority of Chasing the Dead takes place during one nightmarish 14-hour period.

On December 21, the longest night of the year, single mother Sue Young returns home from work to find her one-year-old daughter Veda and her nanny missing. Then the phone rings. It’s the kidnapper. In order for Young to get her daughter back alive, she must follow the abductor’s instructions precisely. Her first task is to drive to Gray Haven, the sleepy New England suburb where she and her estranged husband Phillip grew up, dig up a corpse wrapped in garbage bags from underneath a secluded bridge and place it in the back of her SUV. After completing the task and returning to her vehicle, she finds her nanny dead in the passenger seat, eyes brutally removed. A bloody map is attached to the corpse: one with a highlighted route meandering through several small New England townships. For Young to rescue her daughter, she must travel the exact route with corpses in tow and arrive at the last town, White’s Cove, before sunrise. But when she begins to see strange similarities in the towns she drives through—namely statues of a late 18th-century sea captain named Isaac Hamilton—she realizes that the person who abducted her child may not be a person at all.

Schreiber’s first novel is an utterly readable nail-biting tour de force narrated in adrenaline-fueled, staccato chapters that all end with some kind of cliffhanger or bombshell. Readers will find it practically impossible to put down this bloodcurdling book until the last page. An infamous serial killer, a centuries-old mystery, decaying zombies, sadistic ghosts: What more could you ask for? Two rotting thumbs way up!

Paul Goat Allen is a freelance editor and writer in Camillus, New York.

 

Painting the town dead in Chasing the Dead.
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Prosecutor-turned-novelist Penn Cage, the hero of Greg Iles' 1999 bestseller The Quiet Game, is back in his hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, and facing his most disturbing challenge yet: supporting a childhood friend and pillar of the community who is accused of the brutal rape and murder of a high school girl. When Kate Townsend, the 17-year-old star athlete and valedictorian of St. Stephen's Prep School, is found dead near the Mississippi River, the entire population of Natchez turns its every resource toward finding out who snuffed out one of the city's brightest stars. But even before the investigation begins, Dr. Andrew Elliott pulls aside his longtime friend Cage and asks for legal advice. The middle-aged doctor informs Cage of his torrid love affair with Townsend and his plans to divorce his wife and move to Boston with the young woman while she attended Harvard. Cage reluctantly agrees to help his friend, but in his search for the real killer, he gets a glimpse of the secret reality behind St. Stephen's, which includes widespread drug use, rampant sexual promiscuity and an entire generation of disaffected youth. As more and more Natchez residents are sadistically murdered, can Cage follow the blood trail to the killer before his friend's career and reputation are ruined?

In a genre filled with shining stars, Iles' storytelling mastery specifically his unfathomably deep plot complexity and insightful character development blazes like a supernova. This dark and disturbing look at the abhorrent pitfalls facing children in 21st-century America is sure to satisfy even the most demanding suspense fan.

Paul Goat Allen is a freelance editor and writer in Camillus, New York.

Prosecutor-turned-novelist Penn Cage, the hero of Greg Iles' 1999 bestseller The Quiet Game, is back in his hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, and facing his most disturbing challenge yet: supporting a childhood friend and pillar of the community who is accused of the brutal rape and murder of a high school girl. When Kate Townsend, the […]
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Ten years after the publication of Gregory Maguire's first adult novel, Wicked–a wildly successful account of the Wicked Witch of the West that served as the basis for a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical–the long-awaited sequel is finally here. Son of a Witch stars Liir, the mysterious adolescent boy who saw Dorothy kill the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba Thropp. As the novel begins, Liir (who may or may not be Elphaba's son) is found near death. Taken in by attendants at the Cloister of Saint Glinda, Liir is nursed back to consciousness by an enigmatic foundling girl named Candle, who soothes him with music. When Liir awakens, he is coerced to help the residents of Oz save themselves from an egomaniacal emperor. Although the storyline seems whimsical, the novel's dominant themes are anything but. Just like the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, Liir is desperately searching for clues to tell him who he is. But are physical characteristics really important when compared to what's in one's heart?

Fans of fantastical fiction, as well as aficionados of L. Frank Baum's classic Oz saga, will undoubtedly send Maguire's darkly enchanting and profoundly moving sequel straight to the bestseller lists. Ruby red slippers and flying monkeys not included.

 

Ten years after the publication of Gregory Maguire's first adult novel, Wicked–a wildly successful account of the Wicked Witch of the West that served as the basis for a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical–the long-awaited sequel is finally here. Son of a Witch stars Liir, the mysterious adolescent boy who saw Dorothy kill the infamous Wicked […]
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Kelly Link's second short story collection is aptly titled Magic for Beginners, for the short fiction she presents here is truly magical, with masterfully crafted stories that are as dark as they are delightful.

Link's first story collection, Stranger Things Happen (2001), became a cult favorite, with surreal and bizarre stories such as the Nebula Award-winning Louise's Ghost. She gained considerable industry attention when she turned down offers to publish her second collection with a major publishing house, choosing instead to stick with Small Beer Press, the independent press she co-owns with her husband Gavin Grant (a BookPage contributor). Noteworthy stories in Magic for Beginners include the Hugo Award-nominated "The Faery Handbag," a deeply touching story about a teenager named Genevieve and her eccentric grandmother Zofia. One of the most unusual things about Genevieve's book-stealing, Scrabble-playing, story-telling immigrant grandma is her big black purse. The hairy handbag is supposedly made out of dog skin and is the sanctuary for an entire village of Baldeziwurlekistanians. When the ageless Zofia finally dies, Genevieve loses the magical handbag and other invaluable things as well.

In "The Hortlak", an all-night convenience store located near the Ausible Chasm is likened to the Starship Enterprise. Its two-man crew of Batu and Eric are on a voyage of discovery while exploring revolutionary retail theories selling cigarettes and beef jerky to Canadians, truckers and zombies. As 19-year old Eric who is living in the store's utility closet and sharing very strange pajamas with his Turkish manager strives to decipher Batu's secret grand plan for the store, he also tries to figure out a way to escape his dead-end existence. A beautifully bizarre customer, a girl who works the night shift at a local animal shelter and euthanizes dogs after giving them one last mercy drive in her car, may be his way out. Lull is an ingeniously complex story within a story within a story that is ultimately about loss and redemption and happy beginnings.

Magic for Beginners is as wildly entertaining as it is just plain weird. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes disconcerting, Link's stories demonstrate her wicked sense of humor and genius wit.

Paul Goat Allen is a freelance editor and writer in Syracuse.

 

Kelly Link's second short story collection is aptly titled Magic for Beginners, for the short fiction she presents here is truly magical, with masterfully crafted stories that are as dark as they are delightful. Link's first story collection, Stranger Things Happen (2001), became a cult favorite, with surreal and bizarre stories such as the Nebula […]
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Fans of Dan Brown's wildly popular novel The Da Vinci Code, and the myriad comparable books it spawned Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason's The Rule of Four, Leslie Silbert's The Intelligencer, Lev Grossman's Codex, etc. will undoubtedly enjoy Matt Bondurant's debut novel, The Third Translation. Set in modern-day London, the story follows American Egyptologist Dr. Walter Rothschild in the last days of his contract with the British Museum to solve the riddle of the Stela of Paser, a funerary stone that is one of the last remaining cryptographic puzzles of the ancient world. The hieroglyphic artifact, which supposedly holds arcane knowledge of the dead and insights into the afterlife, contains enigmatic instructions stating that the writing must be translated three different ways to unlock its secrets.

As Rothschild comes closer to solving the ancient mystery, his already miserable personal life he's divorced, his adult daughter hates him and he shares a filthy attic apartment the size of a closet with an ill-tempered researcher obsessed with spicy foods and insecticides takes a dramatic turn for the worse. After meeting a controversial writer ( the next Salman Rushdie ) at a local pub, Rothschild overindulges in alcohol and narcotics and ends up taking a strange woman back to the museum. Later, he realizes she has used him to steal an invaluable artifact. Rothschild is told to reacquire it or else. Thus begins a hallucinatory quest through London's dark underbelly that involves drug dealers, pseudo-intellectual revolutionaries, bizarre cults and a professional wrestler named Gigantica.

While just as complex as Brown's The Da Vinci Code, Bondurant's debut is a more understated, intimate kind of thriller. A compelling amalgam of history, mysticism and suspense, The Third Translation is tantalizing brain candy highly recommended for history aficionados, conspiracy theorists and closet cryptographers alike.

Paul Goat Allen is a freelance editor and writer in Syracuse, New York.

 

Fans of Dan Brown's wildly popular novel The Da Vinci Code, and the myriad comparable books it spawned Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason's The Rule of Four, Leslie Silbert's The Intelligencer, Lev Grossman's Codex, etc. will undoubtedly enjoy Matt Bondurant's debut novel, The Third Translation. Set in modern-day London, the story follows American Egyptologist Dr. […]
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Science fiction fans who have patiently waited for the sixth and final entry in George Lucas's Star Wars epic have a double treat in store this spring: the final film (the third in the story, chronologically) will open in theaters on May 19, and Matthew Stover's Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, a novel based on the screenplay of the movie, will be released on April 2.

Readers will be thrilled by the chance for an advance look at the complex and heartrending events that led to the transformation of young Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker into the Dark Lord Darth Vader. The embodiment of pure evil and arguably the most popular villain in the history of the science fiction genre Darth Vader was once a troubled young man struggling with his dual life as an ambitious Jedi Knight and secret husband to Senator Padme Amidala. His development into the heartless monstrosity behind the black mask is easily the literary science fiction event of the year.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the darkest and most emotionally charged of all the Star Wars novels. Jedi Master Yoda's mantra fear is the path to the Dark Side, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hatred, hatred leads to suffering is at the crux of Stover's story. Without giving too much away, we can mention a few highlights of the novel: the systematic destruction of the already fractured Republic by the mysterious Sith Lord, Count Dooku, and his droid army; the tragic death of Anakin's beloved wife, mother to fraternal twins Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa; and the most intimate of betrayals that leads to the ultimate downfall of the once almighty Jedi Order.

As the story unfolds, Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate, is kidnapped by members of the Separatist movement. Anakin and his mentor Obi-Wan fight valiantly to rescue the Chancellor but ultimately fail. The staged abduction turns out to be just another maneuver by Palpatine, who is really the mastermind behind the formation of the Galactic Empire, Darth Sidious. The kidnapping sets in motion a series of truly epic events that are guaranteed to leave readers awestruck, including the extraordinary conclusion of the Clone Wars, the fledgling beginnings of the Rebel Alliance and the construction of the Death Star.

Like most concluding volumes, Stover's Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith has something for just about everyone: nonstop action, unbelievable plot twists, shocking revelations and an utterly satisfying conclusion that will appease even the most hardcore Star Wars fans. But almost more significant than the events that tie together the six motion pictures and complete the saga is the much-anticipated insight into the complex character of Darth Vader and his internal struggles with obligation and emotion, unconditional love and uncontrollable hate, good and evil. In short, Stover's Revenge of the Sith is as ambitious as it is epic in scope.

After hundreds of Star Wars novels, graphic novels and reference guides, and an endless array of merchandise, the Star Wars saga has become an integral part of the American consciousness. Those who doubt its enduring cultural significance, and the iconic status of characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Hans Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jabba the Hutt, Yoda and Darth Vader, need only visit www.starwarsshop.com for an eye-popping reality check. Here, fans can purchase hundreds of items, from Darth Vader coffee mugs and life-size Chewbacca replicas to Boba Fett football jerseys and a $15,000 bronze Yoda statue.

And to think the multimillion dollar juggernaut that redefined and reinvigorated the science fiction genre began with the 1976 publication of an unassuming paperback by George Lucas entitled Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker.

 

Paul Goat Allen is a freelance editor and writer in Syracuse, New York.

Science fiction fans who have patiently waited for the sixth and final entry in George Lucas's Star Wars epic have a double treat in store this spring: the final film (the third in the story, chronologically) will open in theaters on May 19, and Matthew Stover's Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, a […]
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When Robert Ludlum died in March of 2001, millions of fans mourned the passing of a brilliant and prolific storyteller and the loss of future novels featuring his most popular character, CIA operative Jason Bourne.

But after the tremendous international success of the 2002 film adaptation of The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon (its sequel, The Bourne Supremacy, is scheduled to hit theaters July 23) and the ever-increasing demand worldwide for a new installment in the Bourne saga, the Ludlum estate turned to Eric Van Lustbader, author of best-selling thrillers like The Ninja and Black Heart and one of Ludlum's friends. Lustbader, a longtime admirer of Ludlum's Bourne sequence, says he "jumped at the chance, because the estate promised I could do my own story and write in my own style." The result, he says, surprised even him. "In many ways it's the best novel I've ever written."

The Bourne Legacy begins with David Webb (aka Jason Bourne) retired from the CIA and teaching linguistics at Georgetown University. But when an assassin almost kills him on campus and he is framed for the murder of his two closest friends, Webb is forced to revert to his deadly Bourne persona. With the full force of the CIA and a relentless assassin closing in on him, Bourne must stay alive long enough to figure out who set him up, and why. His desperate quest, which takes him to Paris, Crete, Budapest and Iceland, also leads him to the last place he wants to go his past. Lustbader was right: The Bourne Legacy is arguably his best work to date. (And the shocking bombshells that he drops regarding the character of Jason Bourne will have fans of this series talking for months.) Powered by highly volatile, raw-edged emotion, and dozens of complex characters, each with their own intriguing history, The Bourne Legacy will leave readers furiously turning pages until its breathtaking (and heart-wrenching) conclusion.

When Robert Ludlum died in March of 2001, millions of fans mourned the passing of a brilliant and prolific storyteller and the loss of future novels featuring his most popular character, CIA operative Jason Bourne. But after the tremendous international success of the 2002 film adaptation of The Bourne Identity starring Matt Damon (its sequel, […]
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The Rule of Four, a debut novel by recent Ivy League grads Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, is comparable to numerous recently published thrillers (Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, Leslie Silbert's The Intelligencer, Lev Grossman's Codex, etc.) in which protagonists are put in mortal danger while trying to unravel cryptic secrets hidden in ancient texts. It would be an injustice, however, to categorize this novel as typical bibliophilic suspense. The Rule of Four is much more than that it's a masterfully complicated mystery, a powerfully touching romance and a cultural account of the Renaissance, as well as a bittersweet coming-of-age story about college seniors coming to grips with the "adult" world.

Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris are students at Princeton University. Paul enlists Tom's help in researching his senior thesis on the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a real-life, renowned, shelf-bending Renaissance manuscript attributed to an enigmatic Italian nobleman. Written in seven languages with gruesome illustrations, Hypnerotomachia has mystified academics for more than five centuries. Tom, whose late father was a scholar obsessed with the text, finds that he, too, is drawn to its tantalizing secrets. What he and Paul discover is a revelation so incredible some would murder to possess it.

Readers who enjoy cipher-powered story lines will delight in Caldwell and Thomason's acrostics, anagrams, riddles and polyalphabetic cryptography. But this novel is ultimately powered by the deep relationships between the handful of protagonists, and the things they will do to sustain their friendship. The theme of responsibility increasingly prominent as the seniors near graduation (and potential incarceration) is epitomized by a professor's remark about writing the senior thesis: it's about shouldering something so big, you can't get out from under it.

Riveting, poignant and intensely intimate, The Rule of Four is a thinking person's thriller of the highest order.

 

Paul Goat Allen is a freelance editor and writer living in Syracuse, New York.

The Rule of Four, a debut novel by recent Ivy League grads Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, is comparable to numerous recently published thrillers (Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, Leslie Silbert's The Intelligencer, Lev Grossman's Codex, etc.) in which protagonists are put in mortal danger while trying to unravel cryptic secrets hidden in ancient […]
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What could be more appropriate on Halloween than reading books guaranteed to make you check under the bed and inside the closet before you go to sleep at night? If you're tired of reading the same old horror classics, don't worry; this fall there is a cornucopia of new novels guaranteed to give you the creeps.

Start your scary sojourn by sampling the work of Tananarive Due, the acclaimed author of such novels as The Between, My Soul to Keep and The Living Blood uniquely disturbing stories that effortlessly mix the horror, mystery and supernatural genres. In her latest book, The Good House, Due has written her best (and scariest) work to date. Like her other books, The Good House takes strong African-American themes as the foundation for a twisted tale. Every summer, Angela Toussaint, a lawyer living in California, visits her deceased grandmother's house with her estranged husband and teenage son Corey. The old house, which is located in a rural town in Washington state, is known as the Good House by locals, in part because Angela's grandmother Marie, a secret practitioner of voodoo, grew powerful medicinal herbs that helped area residents with a variety of ailments. But Angela's summer getaway quickly turns into a nightmare when her son commits suicide in the cellar. Years later, after Angela gets out of a mental hospital, she goes back to the Good House to figure out why Corey killed himself. What she uncovers a family curse that goes back generations will not only put her own life in jeopardy, but everyone close to her as well. With her new book, Due ascends into the realm of titans like Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Peter Straub. The Good House is intelligent, hypnotic, unnerving: a singular work of horror.

Next up on our horrific tour is John Shirley, whose new novel, Crawlers, is perhaps his most commercially palatable work to date. With Crawlers, he not only seamlessly merges horror and cyberpunk in a gruesomely explicit storyline guaranteed to frighten, he also manages to satirize modern-day society as only he knows how. When a secret military project involving nanotechnology goes terribly wrong and rogue nano-entities begin contaminating a quiet California suburb, Major Henri Stanner is called in to assess the extent of the damage. What he finds is the stuff of nightmares. The breakouts have infected a growing number of humans and animals and have begun ripping them apart and putting them back together in new, semi-mechanical forms. The cluster mind calls itself The All of Us and its mission is simple: to spawn. When Stanner realizes the government is covering up the whole disaster, he is forced to take matters into his own hands.

Crawlers has Shirley's trademark intensity, moral outrage and critical wit but also includes deep social and political allegories as well. What happens when humanity becomes too dependent upon technology? Are we sacrificing consciousness for mindless pleasures and superfluous comforts? What if sentient technology turns the tables and begins using us as its tool? Shirley's latest is as terrifying as it is thought-provoking.

Peter Straub's novel, lost boy lost girl is a truly groundbreaking work from the renowned master of literary horror. In it, he revisits characters from previous works: popular writer Timothy Underhill (Koko and The Throat) and visionary crime solver Tom Pasmore (Mystery). Upon hearing of the death of his sister-in-law, Underhill returns to his hometown of Millhaven (Straub's much-visited Illinois suburb, his answer to Stephen King's Castle Rock) to console his brother Philip and his teenage nephew Mark. Philip's wife, Nancy, has, for no apparent reason, committed suicide. Not surprisingly, Philip is beside himself, but Tim is more concerned with 15-year old Mark, who seems to be harboring dark secrets. After the funeral, Tim returns to New York City and a few days later receives a frantic call from his brother looking for Mark. Tim returns to Millhaven in search of his nephew only to find a serial killer on the loose, an abandoned house in the neighborhood emanating evil and a horrible family secret.

With lost boy lost girl, Straub has produced much more than a psychological thriller. It's a ghost story, a murder mystery, a beautiful love story, a gruesome account of a serial killer and, ultimately, a heartfelt study of the tenuous bonds that hold family together through good times and bad. Incredibly complex, mesmerizing and chilling, lost boy lost girl is classic Straub.

If you're still searching for something to curdle your blood when Halloween arrives, Anne Rice's latest literary treat which is aptly available October 31st will surely do the trick. Rice's newest offering, Blood Canticle, continues her wildly popular Vampire Chronicles (Interview with the Vampire, The Queen of the Damned). It seems that the legendary vampire Lestat is having something of an identity crisis. Formerly known for his evil ways, he's now more concerned with love and loyalty. Rice has said that Blood Canticle will mark Lestat's final appearance, but as we all know, a good vampire is hard to keep down.

What could be more appropriate on Halloween than reading books guaranteed to make you check under the bed and inside the closet before you go to sleep at night? If you're tired of reading the same old horror classics, don't worry; this fall there is a cornucopia of new novels guaranteed to give you the […]

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