I say this at the start of every review of this author's books, but it's true - I'm a huge David Haynes fan. Even if I wasn't, I think the happy smiling face of the clown would have sold the book to me! This book sees a bit of a departure from his usual themes, most notably the lack of a supernatural presence. For me his best were the earlier Victorian era stories. I have enjoyed his more contemporary stories, but not quite as much, but his latest release has challenged that opinion.
The story centres around a murderous clown, which is quite a common horror theme. Here the author's strength at bringing something new to the story shines. The horror here is in the mind as well as the terrible acts that are committed and there is a twisted logic to the delusion which grounds the whole story.
As well as the killer clown you have the author who wrote the book that inspired the clown's actions and story and how he is dragged ever further into the unfolding events. This is balance by the detective trying to solve and stop the murders. All of the characters are well realised and provide a perfect balance to each other. Its here, that the author shines with excellent writing and providing enough detail for you to fully appreciate what is happening without forcing the reader to wade through unnecessary text.
The pacing is brisk and draws you through with barely a pause and makes it feel like a shorter read than it is. The ending is a little unusual and acts as a counterpoint to the more frantic build up. There is an element of sadness here that underpins the madness and for me really pushed the quality of story.
To sum up - we have another winner from David Haynes, and a superb horror read. I'd recommend this to all fans of the genre.
Maldon Williams was nine years old when he saw a clown murder his parents. The clown used a kitchen knife to cut their throats from ear to ear, and blood dripped down the walls in thick, oozing rivers.
Ben Night was once a successful author, whose career now seems washed up. But his horror novel ‘Clownz’ is about to become all too real. Real enough to break into his own home.
Jane Brady is the police detective investigating a string of monstrous killings, connected only by Night’s book. Has its villain, Sparkles The Clown, inspired these real-life atrocities?
From the pages of fiction, Sparkles walks the world, leaving behind only the flayed faces of his victims and a single word written in blood:
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