cover image Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal

Grim Death and Bill the Electrocuted Criminal

Mike Mignola and Tom Sniegoski. St. Martin’s, $21.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-07768-4

In this eerie illustrated horror novel set in an unspecified American city during the early days of the Great Depression, author Sniegoski and author and artist Mignola combine words and black-and-white illustrations to creepy effect in the tale of a man who has been given a new life, with a twist. His real name is Bentley Hawthorne, heir to a munitions magnate, but when he puts on the skull mask and goes to work, he is the Grim Death. His task is to avenge those who’ve died untimely, and his orders come to him in the form of ghosts who need retribution. Bentley battles injustice with the aid of his trusty servant, Pym, and a pair of .45-caliber pistols from his father’s factory. Mignola and Sniegoski have created a comic book–style character who rights wrongs in a sinister, hair-raisingly enjoyable way, with an open ending that leaves room for more episodes. The illustrations are bland and generic, but the straightforward writing style will appeal to teen readers. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary. (Mar.)