Neurotic Fishbowl: The Hour Before Dark by Douglas Clegg


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The Hour Before Dark by Douglas Clegg

The Hour Before Dark by Douglas Clegg: a suspenseful, genuinely creepy horror novel that has to be one of the best in the genre that I've read in years.

At the very beginning of the novel, Gordie Raglan is brutally murdered in the smokehouse that sits on Hawthorne, the property he owns on Burnley Island, just off the coast of Massachusetts. The murder is so savage and strange that no one - police, forensics experts, or even the media - can begin to figure out what has happened.

Nemo, the oldest of Gordie's kids, is called home by Brooke, his sister who was at Hawthone at the time, and Bruno, his brother. Brooke, understandably, is acting odd, but Bruno and Nemo begin to wonder if maybe she has become completely unhinged by their father's slaughter.

Complicating everything, is memories that Nemo has of playing The Dark Game with his brother and sister in the same smokehouse where their father was murdered. One must never play The Dark Game after night has fallen, but the three of them did just that once. Nemo has to try and put the pieces that is slowly surfacing of his and his sibling's lives to determine who really is the murder and what secrets have been buried long enough.

The book had me wondering about the outcome for almost its entire length. I figured out one important plot twist (as I think most people will), but it still didn't lessen the impact of the Raglan family truth or of the novel itself.

Very well written, highly enjoyable, and even reminiscent of Stephen King's earlier works. Recommended for those that love their scares with more psychological nuances than straight out gore.

(Finished on September 20, 2003 for Zuly’s Reading Room.)

.: Posted September 22, 2003 09:56 PM in Zuly's Reading Room, ";print substr($entry_cats, 0, -2); ?> :.

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Thanks introducing me to Book Crossing. I didn't get into it much tonight, since it's far past my bedtime. I'll be sure to look into it tomorrow, though.

.: Geoffrey said on September 24, 2003 02:27 AM :: link it :.

You're too early! Come back at September 22, 2003 09:56 PM to see this post.

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