David Niall Wilson, Author . Five Star $26.95 (325p) ISBN 978-1-59414-142-3

In this engrossing, poetic novel of spiritual evil and the possibility of salvation from Wilson (This Is My Blood ), a burned-out musician, Brandt, is playing in an obscure band when he hears a homeless black man, Wally, play the purest blues on the harmonica he has ever heard, music that encapsulates all the pain of the world. Brandt begs Wally to teach him how to play the same way. He disregards Wally's warning that he would have to take the pain into himself, and then play to purge it lest it consume him. Brandt's performance that evening changes the lives of his fellow band members. Together they discover that they can play not to wake the dead but to settle restlessly roaming spirits. Opposing them is a sinister figure masquerading as a man of God, who wishes the pain to go on and on. As Brandt and the other band members slowly and convincingly come to realize that a larger world surrounds them, Wilson demonstrates that a horror novel doesn't need gallons of blood to succeed, that spiritual terror can be even more effective. (May)

FYI: Wilson is a past president of the Horror Writers Association and an ordained minister.

Reviewed on: 05/03/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Paperback - 344 pages - 978-1-4104-0228-8
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