Joe Hill's critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning debut chiller, Heart-Shaped Box, heralded the arrival of new royalty onto the dark fantasy scene. With Horns, he polishes his well-deserved crown. A twisted, terrifying new novel of psychological and supernatural suspense, Horns is a devilishly original triumph for the Ray Bradbury Fellowship recipient whose story collection, 20th Century Ghosts, was also honored with a Bram Stoker Award--and whose emotionally powerful and macabre work has been praised by the New York Times as, "wild, mesmerizing, perversely witty...a Valentine from hell."
"One hangover-headache morning, Ig Perrish gropes his forehead and discovers a pair of knobby, pointed protuberances. As he proceeds to stumble through the day, person after person he encounters, including the nurse and doctor he consults about the horns, tell him things about their desires and intentions that they should keep to themselves, and whenever he touches someone, he instantly knows their darkest secrets. Most disconcerting, he finds out that virtually everyone thinks that, lack of evidence notwithstanding, he really did sexually assault and murder his lover since high school, Merrin Williams, almost exactly a year ago. Only his brother, Terry, a TV talk-show star, doesn't, but that, Ig learns through his special powers, is because Terry knows Merrin was killed by someone near and dear to her and Ig both. Ig determines on making the culprit die as painfully as Merrin died. Hill's a terrific descriptive writer, and realistic dialogue comes easily to him, but those skills don't help this diffuse revenge caper move as crisply as it ought to, and they don't compensate for the cookie-cutter sameness of its characters. Except for Ig and the Merrin, everyone in Ig's little world is a covert creep seething with mean spirits; although he's becoming steadily more demonic, Ig himself is the nicest guy around. Worst, the big-showdown climax comes off as splatter-movie farcical after the longueurs of the preceding 300-plus pages.--Olson, Ray Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"In bestseller Hill's compulsively readable supernatural thriller, his second after Heart-Shaped Box, dissolute Ignatius Perrish wakes up one morning to find a pair of satanic horns sprouting from his forehead. To the residents of Gideon, N.H., this grotesque disfigurement only confirms their suspicions that Ig raped and murdered his girlfriend, Merrin Williams, a crime for which he was held but soon released for lack of evidence. Ig is also now privy to the deepest, and often darkest, private thoughts of anyone he touches. Once Ig discovers through this uncanny sensitivity the true killer's identity, he schemes to reveal the culprit's guilt through natural means. Toggling between past and present, and incidents that range from the supernaturally surreal to the brutally realistic, Hill spins a story that's both morbidly amusing and emotionally resonant. The explanations for Ig's weird travails won't satisfy every reader, but few will dispute that Hill has negotiated the sophomore slump. 6-city author tour. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved