Tough Summer Reads: Daryl Gregory

I discovered a new author recently. Daryl Gregory has published a couple of horror novels in the past few years. I was not sure I liked his work at first, but it is starting to grow on me.

I found Gregory's novels when compiling our Horror newsletter not long ago. I was looking through our catalog for new horror titles when I found one called The Devil's Alphabet. In this novel, Paxton Martin returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of a close friend. Switchcreek is far from being a normal small town, however--years earlier, a strange virus infected its citizens, killing many while changing the survivors into bizarre creatures. A few, like Pax, were "skips"--the lucky few who remained unchanged. Pax will discover a number of dark secrets about his hometown and his departed friend. The novel was a mixture of horror and science fiction--the descriptions of the "changed" townspeople are worthy of a David Cronenberg film adaptation.

When I finished The Devil's Alphabet, I noticed the name of Gregory's debut novel, Pandemonium, on the cover. Pandemonium describes a world in which demon possessions are an everyday occurrence. After a car accident, Del Pierce discovers that the demon that possessed him as a child is back . . . or has never left him. Del is desperate to find a "cure" for his possession, but the cost may be more than he bargained for. I am still reading Pandemonium, but I'm finding it a bit easier to warm up to than The Devil's Alphabet. I am hoping for a surprising conclusion.

Haven't heard of this author? Give one of his novels a try. I found these a bit tough to love, but they may grow on you too.