cover image Prisoner 489

Prisoner 489

Joe R. Lansdale. Dark Regions/Black Labyrinth, $14.95 trade paper (102p) ISBN 978-1-62641-073-2

Veteran horror/thriller author Lansdale (Hot in December) tells a tight, spooky tale about what happens when an executed prisoner doesn’t stay dead. When the United Nations builds a prison designed for criminals unworthy of charges or a trial, they need somewhere special to store the bodies of the executed, and somebody to bury the bodies. The place is the potter’s field on a small island, and the man is Bernard, a man so disconnected from normal life he’s contemplating permanent retreat to gravedigger duties. Then the prison sends over a giant coffin that’s reinforced and chained shut. Given rumors that the prisoner spent the previous three years in perfect isolation, eating and drinking nothing, readers won’t be surprised that he rises from the grave during a massive, isolating thunderstorm and goes on a murderous rampage that could end Bernard’s career and his life. Those who can forgive an excess of testicular focus in the finale are in for a thrill. (Nov.)