cover image Darker


Simon Clark, . . Cemetery Dance, $40 (600pp) ISBN 978-1-58767-030-5

In this disappointing novel from British horror veteran Clark (Stranger ), a traveler named Michael becomes host while in Istanbul to a tremendously powerful entity called the Beast. Back in England, the Beast separates from Michael and begins to pursue him, crushing cars and churches like an invisible Godzilla. Realizing that the entity can only be controlled by an innocent girl, Michael enlists four-year-old Amy Young for this task. Inexplicably, Michael gets Amy's whole family involved, wins their trust, explains everything and then tries to kill them, all while on the run from the Beast. All these characters are also being tracked by tough teen Rosemary Snow, who was badly injured by Michael and hopes to exact revenge. The sum of all this is a thrilling short story bloated into 600 pages of chase scenes and unsatisfying drama in which few questions are answered and the protagonists are never in any real danger. One can only hope the talented Clark will do better next time. (May)