Friday, July 4, 2008

The Red Church

Scott Nicholson is one of the rising talents in the horror field, and The Red Church is his Bram Stoker Award nominated debut. It is the story of a small town in the North Carolina Appalachians. In the 19th century a Christian-derived cult, in which Christ was believed to be the first (and unsuccessful) of two sons, sprang up around a charismatic preacher named McFall. The Temple Of The Two Sons goes a little too far when it ventures into child sacrifice, and the reverend is hanged by angry townsfolk outside his church.

The present day story begins with the return of McFall’s descendent, who resurrects the church, and plans a little revenge on the families that hanged old great-great-granddad.

It’s easy to see how the buzz about Nicholson got started. This is a nice entry into Stephen King territory (the small isolated town beset by horror) with a good Lovecraftian edge. It is nice to see how Nicholson uses the religious faith that infuses towns like these, for good as well as bad. I’m from a rural Southern town, and I can assure you, faith dominates life there.

Recommended. It is now out of print, but shouldn’t be too hard to find through used vendors.


Kent said...

Good book, there. I've enjoyed most of his stuff.

KentAllard said...

Me, too. His output seems to have slowed of late.