cover image Never the Wind

Never the Wind

Francesco Dimitri. Titan, $15.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-78909-981-2

Heavenly Creatures meets Mary Stewart’s lushly scenic gothic thrillers in Dimitri’s eerie sophomore work of religious horror (after The Book of Hidden Things). In the summer of 1996, newly blind 13-year-old Luca Saracino moves with his Catholic family to the southern Italian village of Portodimare, where his parents are renovating his grandfather’s farmhouse into a high-end wedding venue. His only friend is Ada Guadalupi, who helps him learn to navigate the Mediterranean scrub and beaches—even as a feral-smelling “wanderer” begins to stalk them. During the purposefully slow and disorienting start, Dimitri competently portrays the experience of a formerly sighted person adjusting to blindness, building a complete world of smell, touch, taste, and sound. From there, the background small-town gossip steadily overtakes the narrative, slowly revealing that Luca’s new home is not what it seems. And though it takes a while to set the hook, the plot builds to a truly spooky climax. There’s plenty here to fascinate fans of cerebral horror. (June)