By J.N. Williamson
Leisure Books, 363 pp, 1999
This book's premise is promising. The Kidd
family, now composed of two thirty-something brothers, Ray and Jack, has
been both cursed and protected by a mysterious force, or presence, that
lives somewhere in their huge house. The brothers have never been sick or
injured. But if they breaks the force's rules, or violate its twisted
sense of decency, the force punishes them. It killed both their parents
for just those reasons.
Understandably, the brothers are eager to
escape this presence, but it follows them wherever they go and can hurt
anyone who associates with them. For example, the force thinks that Ray's
current girlfriend isn't worthy, so it punishes Ray when he visits her,
then later kills her.
Like I said, this plot shows promise, but
Williamson doesn't carry it off. It's not very scary, and that's never any
good for a horror book. The ending is also very lame and smacks of the
Wizard of Oz (read it and you'll see what I mean). But it's more than
that. It's drenched with sex and unnecessarily graphic and tiresome
descriptions of, ah, certain body parts. The secondary characters aren't
The writing is okay, so that's why I
finished it, but other than that, nothing stands out or recommends itself.
This is my first Williamson book, and I hope the others are better. He's
got a great reputation in the horror writer community. Maybe his other
novels are better.
To be honest, I'm not all that interested
in finding out.