An all-new epic tale of terror and redemption set in the hinterlands of midcentury New Mexico from the acclaimed author of The Troop—which Stephen King raved “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down…old-school horror at its best.”
From electrifying horror author Nick Cutter comes a haunting new novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Stephen King’s It, in which a trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. Shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. Stirrings in the woods and over the treetops—the brooding shape of a monolith known as the Black Rock casts its terrible pall. Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell—or the closest thing to it—invades Little Heaven. The remaining occupants are forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is now marshaling its powers…and it wants them all. – Goodreads.com
When beginning this book, I felt as if I’d been transported to an early Stephen King novel and was in my own ‘little heaven’ and excited for the rest of this novel. But in the end, I had some mixed feelings.
The characterization is superb. Yes, the three MCs are basically killers for hire, but it didn’t take long to become invested in them and their story. The dynamics between them are even humorous at times and although they’d all worked alone by choice and are initially brought together by interesting circumstances, they develop a strong sense of loyalty to each other. The Reverend is appropriately loathsome and evil, the children of Little Heaven are about as creepy as they come, and if you like your horror on the gory side, there’s an abundance in this novel. Although it wasn’t the ending I’d hoped for, it was appropriate for the story.
That being said – this is a looooong book and it took quite a while to get to that ending. Admittedly, I skimmed through many pages, lost focus, or put the book down several times. I’ve read The Troop and The Deep by this author, and although I don’t think a book of a comparable length would have done this story justice, maybe it could have been streamlined a bit.
Little Heaven is scheduled for publication January 10th, 2017. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.