Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Devil in Gray by Graham Masterton

Author: Graham Masterton
ISBN # 0843953616
Publisher: Leisure Fiction
1st Published: 2004
355 pages

An attack on a young couple, expecting their first child, by an invisible assailant, & a retired US Army Officer, disembowelled by some seemingly satanic force. What connects them? Decker is the hardboiled cop in charge of these horrific murder cases where nothing seems to fit. Through it all, he is plagued by terrifying nightmares of a burning wood teeming with screaming soldiers, & continuous warnings from the ghost of his murdered girlfriend. Can he unravel the mystery & find the missing link before he becomes a victim himself? How can he apprehend the Devil when nobody can see him but a talented young girl with a very special gift?

This was the Book Club Forum Reading Circle choice for February, but I managed to nab myself a copy earlier than expected & so began ahead of schedule so I could pass it on to another member.

This was my introduction to Graham Masterton & I can certainly see the appeal. The horror is pretty, well, horrific, actually. The descriptions are incredibly vivid & I was plunged head-first into a mad whirlwind of action from the get-go. I actually exclaimed out loud, after reading the first chapter, “Wow! What an opening!”

It seemed to me that there were two definite halves to the book. The first half set the scene, leaving things seeming to be completely unconnected. It’s not until the 2nd half, when both the American Civil War & Santeria are brought fully to the fore that things really start to pull together, meaning it loses the feeling of disjointedness somewhat.

I don’t know a great deal about Santeria, but I think Masterton really did his homework. Even if he’s taken a few liberties here & there, the information behind it has remained, as far as I can see, on the actual beliefs & practices of this religion, so that nothing felt “fake”.

I think I may well be tempted to search out one or two other books by Masterton – I’ve heard a lot about Spirit, so perhaps that might be one to try. If this one is anything to go by, I think I should quite probably enjoy it a great deal. I don’t know how I managed to miss Masterton in the first place!

Rating: 6


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