Body horror, a new take on vampirism and a circus are some of the delights in this fast paced novella.
Set over several decades in the city of St. Charles, the setting for Smith’s prequel of sorts, The Mourner’s Cradle, Poisonous reintroduces the painted face man and reveals his nefarious plot.
A strange child is born. A policeman spends his career searching for a killer. A circus brings a touch of magic to the proceedings.
The plot was 5 Dog worthy, and reminded me of King or Koontz at their best. This should have been a 600 page doorstopper of a book, filled with multiple characters, nuanced monsters and gut churning horror.
Unfortunately, it is all those things, only squeezed into 113 pages. It reads like the Cliff Notes version of another book. Breakneck in pace, characters come and go with the barest of development and no room left for emotional attachment. Years pass by in the blink of a chapter. By the end of the book, decades have been traversed.
The end of the book leaves the story open for continuation, and I will not hesitate to read a sequel should the author write one. However, I hope that this time he gives the plot and characters the time they deserve to breathe.
I award Poisonous…
Poisonous is available for $1.84 ebook and $9.99 print book on Amazon.