Friday, September 5, 2014

A matter of after-life and death

Black Horizon

By Robert Masello

Publisher: Open Road Media

Pub. Date: July 1st, 2014

Rating: 2 &1/2 out of five stars.

Black Horizon is one of 4 books by horror writer Robert Masello that have been reprinted as ebooks on July 1st, 2014 by Open Roads Media. I have not previously read Masello but he appears to be interested in writing about the supernatural as in topics of spiritualism, life after death, and spiritual communication. Black Horizon was originally published in 1989 and feels very much in the mainstream style of the supernatural fiction of that era. The novel is about a musician who literally brings a dying man back from the dead. The press picks up the story and a scientist, translate to "mad", persuades him to become a subject in his experiments. Needless to say, Dr. Sprague's "experiments" are not exactly approved by the Board of Behavioral sciences. The musician, Jack, is however beginning to see other apparitions, most importantly his mother who died when Jack was born. It is an interesting story with some nicely written parts. I especially was moved by a scene where a man dying of cancer believe Jack can heal him despite Jack's admonitions that he can not heal anyone. But overall, it felt a little too old fashioned and formula. None of the character really stood out and on their own. It was good enough to consider reading another of his novels or one of his non-fiction works. He seems to know a lot about the field of paranormal investigation. There is a number of passages that center around deprivation tanks which were a huge things in the 80s. Yet based on the high quality of good supernatural thrillers since the 90s, I am not sure Masello really stands up well...or at least this particular novel doesn't stand up well. Two and a half stars.

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