cover image Torn


Lee Thomas. Cemetery Dance (, $30 (130p) ISBN 978-1-58767-265-1

Struck from the template of the classic small-town horror story, this methodically plotted novella features a small band of neighbors wrestling with their personal demons as they fight off a more formidable supernatural menace. When a young girl goes missing in the town of Luther's Bend, investigating Sheriff Bill Cranston and a posse of locals stumble upon Douglas Sykes, a creepy drifter with a deadly feral side. In jail, awaiting extradition by state troopers, Sykes warns Cranston that a pack of others like him is descending upon the town. Putting aside their differences, the townspeople band together for the ensuing onslaught. Thomas's (The German) tale reads satisfactorily as a fast-paced supernatural thriller about a small town under bloody siege from uncanny horrors. But his efforts to draw parallels between Sykes' dual nature and the hidden sides of several main characters come across as afterthoughts intended to give events more gravity than they merit. (June)