The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns
Small town Brewster, Rhode Island is typically a sleepy place in the off season. This October proves to be very different. It all begins with the kidnapping of an infant from the nursery of the small local hospital. The nurse was only gone a moment but when she went to check on the two babies in residence in one of the bassinets an infant no longer soundly slept, snakes writhed and wriggled in its place. Couple this with marauding vicious packs of coyotes, hints of cults meeting in the woods, ghastly murders and signs of witchcraft and Satanism and little Brewster is terrified what Halloween may bring. Is something supernatural to blame? Or is it something mundane, yet so horrid it is beyond imagining?
I chose to read this book because it was recommended by Stephen King. And it definitely has that small town horror vibe King is great at. I dare say that Dobyns does it one step better. (King agrees with me). I normally don’t notice the quality of the writing unless it is exceptionally good or really bad. The writing is great. I just loved the way the book is written. It’s only March, yet The Burn Palace surely has a place on my best of 2013 list.