------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
If you are not familiar with author Brian Moreland already, there is a good bet you will be very soon. Why? I would wager that he will be one of the premiere horror writers of this decade. I just finished his novel DEAD OF WINTER, and I have to tell you: it’s a damn good read.
If you have not heard of DEAD OF WINTER, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of the press release:
A predator stalks the frozen woods. At a fort deep in the Ontario wilderness in 1870, a ghastly predator is attacking colonists and spreading a gruesome plague - his victims turn into ravenous cannibals with an unending hunger for human flesh. Inspector Tom Hatcher has faced a madman before, when he tracked down Montreal’s infamous Cannery Cannibal. But can even he stop the slaughter this time?
In Montreal, exorcist Father Xavier visits an asylum where the Cannery Cannibal is imprisoned. But the killer who murdered thirteen women is more than just a madman who craves human meat. He is possessed by a shape-shifting demon. Inspector Hatcher and Father Xavier must unravel the mystery that has spanned centuries and confront a predator that has turned the frozen woods into a killing ground where evil has come to feed.
DEAD OF WINTER is a historical fiction novel that combines several different genre elements into a wicked and wild ride. It is a unique and twisted foray into terrifying fun.
The story puts the reader directly into the middle of the action, starting with page one. That was one of the major aspects that drew me into the book; I’m not a big fan of long, drawn out openings. Moreland masterfully kicks DEAD OF WINTER off with a bang and then keeps on going like a perpetual fright machine.
Moreland’s writing style is excellent, with quick, flowing prose that never dawdles. The action is quick, the dialogue sharp, and the horror...well, let’s just say that there are several scenes in the book that caused me to have a few sleepless nights. Seriously. I’m not usually one to be affected by things of a horror nature (after all, I saw my first horror movie when I was like eight years-old); but there are things in DEAD OF WINTER that will literally keep you up at night.
I have not read any of Brian Moreland’s other books, but I will definitely be picking them up soon. He is a force to be reckoned with and a bright spot in the future of horror fiction. DEAD OF WINTER will be published January 3, 2012. Pick this one up for sure!!
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