Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review: The Soft Whisper of The Dead. By Charles L. Grant

Whenever I start to get bored of the horror genre, or start to lose my faith in stories about things that go bump in the night, I go to my bookshelf and pick out a Charles L. Grant title, and lo and behold, I am a believer again. The Soft Whisper of The Dead is no exception.

Grant is a master of atmosphere, smooth yet artful prose, and well-rounded characters. His plots, if not always very sophisticated, get the job done, and his mastery of pacing is a marvel. All of Grant’s strengths are showcased here, in this tight, little story about vampires taking over the small town of Oxrun Station, and the attempts of two lovers, police officer Ned Stockton, and Pamela Squires, of foiling the vampires’ plans. The main villain, Count Brastov, is cleverly kept in the shadows throughout most of the tale, only to come out at the right moments to deliciously unnerve readers.

Even though there’s nothing new here in terms of plot, it is the storytelling that gets you with its freshness and style. Highly recommended.

N.B. Long out of print, the book is now available as an e-book in various stores.