cover image Daemon of the Dark Wood

Daemon of the Dark Wood

Randy Chandler. Comet (, $14.95 trade paper (250p) ISBN 978-1-936964-46-8

Chandler (Bad Juju) captures the best and worst elements of classic ’70s and ’80s paperback horror: pagan gods, dark secrets in a small town, and lots of gratuitous, barely consensual sex (complete with purple prose like “She shut her eyes and yielded to their kittenish ministrations”). In Arcadia County, Ga., the strange call of the ancient god Pan is summoning women into the woods. With the exception of local widow Liza Leatherwood, who knows the dark secrets of the area’s history, these women get only moments of character development before being enthralled by Pan and compelled to participate in orgies. Deputy sheriff Rob Rourke, psychiatrist Trey Knott, and anthropology professor Alfred Thorn investigate the mystery. Chandler’s not a subtle writer, but readers looking for a throwback to splatterpunk sex and violence with minimal plot will find this just the ticket. (Feb.)