cover image Don’t Fear the Reaper

Don’t Fear the Reaper

Stephen Graham Jones. Saga, $27.99 (464p) ISBN 978-1-982186-59-3

Jade Daniels and her encyclopedic knowledge of slasher films return for another blood-soaked romp in Jones’s superb sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw. It’s been four years since Jade—now going by Jennifer—survived the Independence Day Massacre that devastated her hometown of Proofrock, Idaho. Jennifer is trying to put her traumatic past behind her when Dark Mill South, a legendary hook-handed serial killer, escapes captivity on the outskirts of Proofrock during a once-in-a-century winter storm. When gruesomely gutted bodies pile up around town, Jennifer’s reflexes and genre savvy kick in and she must once again rally her friends and the local authorities, while using her familiarity with cinematic slaughter to save them all from victimhood. The only problem, as she deduces from the killer’s unstoppable onslaught, is that “he knows all the same movies we do.” Jones expertly blends snappy graveyard humor with nail-biting suspense, and he gives his characters distinctive personalities that distinguish them from the underdeveloped body fodder common to most slasher scenarios. This characteristically clever gore-fest proves Jennifer to be a horror heroine worthy of many more adventures. Agent: B.J. Robbins, BJ Robbins Literary. (Feb.)