“John Hawks died and kept walking,”
I love any books that handle horror well! And it’s been a while since I’ve seen anything half decent besides Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Lindqvist. And it’s Lindqvist that this book reminds me of. Think of undead that don’t stay dead but they keep walking towards a goal. Think of a masterful puppeteer controlling all the dead and a malevolent being killing off one by one.
“Her last call, at midnight, had been the worst. “I’ll pull your cock out of your asshole,” she’d said, and for some reason her voice at that moment had reminded him of his mother’s.”
While the story seems to be about zombies and the undead, it’s really about witches. Persecuted in the last century, they asked for land from the Government where they could build a community of their kind and live in peace. They called it Wolf Canyon based on the rock formations around the area.
Soon, there were witches of all kind living together in harmony and it all stops when a new girl comes into town, a dark and mysterious beauty called Isabella who slowly takes control of the village. She’s deadly, evil and set to annihilate all the normals that tried to settle nearby. When witches start dying in mysterious ways (especially the ones opposed to her cruel rulings), the village head kills her when she’s sleeping and dismembers her. They carry her body to the nearest canyon cave and cut it in half, putting one end to one side and the other way apart.
But Isabella is not dead. She mutters a curse that they will all be bound to the land and they will be flooded and die drowning and then she will rise again and feed of their energy and destroy the world. They bash her head in with a rock at this point.
The trouble is, her curse came true as the government did build a damn (only a few kilometers away from an existing one) and even though they warned the people of the Wolf Canyon community they should relocate, when the dam was released, the entire village was submerged along with 60 odd people who were still there.
The government did a mock inquiry on how this massive tragedy happened and then they buried the files and covered it all up.
The second intertwined story is of Miles (the Now part of the story) – who is a private detective dealing with the sudden death of his father and the similarities with a case he was investigating. The dead don’t stay dead – they start walking. After his father disappears from the morgue, he starts seriously checking up every lead he can find and he starts putting together that something unnatural is killing the people off who either worked at the dam, were in charge of covering up the story or were townspeople from Wolf Canyon who escaped.
He finds out witchcraft paraphernalia in his father’s safe box and as he slowly finds out who his father really was, he finds out who he really is and how dangerous the creature coming out of the water is.
I would say the story is pretty original when it comes to endings and even though I throught the solution to be a bit far-fetched, it did work well with the story. Can’t wait to read more!
The dreams, the unnatural deaths, the build-up
The bad parts:
There are a few loose ends that are neglected….. the big and scary dead creature discovered in the desert is never explained, and that’s annoying. Also, many times you think you’re finally gonna find out what Isabella really is….. but no, you’re left hanging. Annoying.