Friday, January 1, 2010

Horns-Joe Hill

Joe Hill
Morrow, Feb 16 2010, $25.99
ISBN: 9780061147951

One year ago in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ignatius Parrish’s perfect life as a second son of affluence died when someone murdered his beloved Merrin Williams. As he has much of the time since she died, Ig got drunk. Last evening intoxicated he visited the sight where her corpse was found. Outraged with the makeshift cross there as Jesus should have shown up a year ago, he rips down the artifact and urinates on it and his feet.

The next day he wakes up with a horrific headache, the “un-Merrin” Glenna Nicholson in bed, and horns on his head; the latter leads to his peeing on his feet for the second time in less than twelve hours. Ig assumes the horns are caused by either remaining drunk or mentally insane due to grief; a kind of pink elephant purgatory. Despondent, everyone even his family, who got the police inquiry aborted, assume he killed Merrin in a rage. He believes the horns are real and God has joined his family, friends, and others in deserting him; everyone except the devil. Ig realizes his horns come with power so he begins his investigation into who killed Merrin and his soul because he plans to send this monster on a one way ticket to hell shortly

This is a super parable supernatural thriller that looks deep at the dark side of humanity in which faith is not enough. Ig is a terrific antihero as he recognizes the devil’s team cannot be the hero regardless since legend means more than good deeds. The support cast, especially the deceased Merrin, Glenna, and Ig’s brother trumpeter Terry, add depth to an exciting paranormal whodunit. However, this is Ig’s road to bear the trials and tribulations like a Job, but unlike a Job he chose the other side losing faith in a God who allowed his Merrin to die so horrifically.

Harriet Klausner