cover image A Black and Endless Sky

A Black and Endless Sky

Matthew Lyons. Keylight, $17.99 trade paper (354p) ISBN 978-1-68442-709-3

Lyons (The Night Will Find Us) burnishes his reputation as a rising horror star with this über-creepy thriller. An opening tease shades what follows; in the Mojave Desert, a team of engineers makes a bizarre discovery—“a massive stone triangle pressed flat into the earth” that appears to be some kind of door. When breaching charges crack the entrance open, black smoke emerges, choking those present and causing multiple fatalities. Lyons then shifts gears to introduce troubled siblings Jonah and Nell Talbot. Jonah’s just gotten divorced, and, with no alternative, heads home to New Mexico from the Bay Area. Nell, with whom he’s had an often-fraught relationship, agrees to split the drive and keep him company on the road. But both Talbots’ reckless streaks emerge after Nell picks a fight in a biker bar, and their subsequent flight leads them straight to the deadly desert location from the prologue. As with the best in the genre, nuanced characterization makes suspending disbelief almost effortless, and Lyons keeps the pages flying with fast-paced chills. Fans of Laird Barron will be especially delighted. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency. (Mar.)