Darkness by John Saul

Darkness, John Saul, 1991

My favorite quote: “Tonight, she was certain, she was finally going to find out who she was, and why she had always known she was different from anyone else.”

Notable characters: Kelly Anderson, a teenage outcast in a new town; Michael Sheffield, her new friend; Amelie Coulton, a swamp dweller; The Dark Man, a mysterious man with mysterious powers

Most memorable scene: When George Coulton’s body is discovered in the swamp looking … well, the way it looked (shudders)

Greatest strengths: The murky swamp atmosphere. You can almost feel the humidity and heat

Standout achievements: Its mystery. This one reveals its secrets nice and slow … the way I like it. While it does require some pretty hefty suspension of disbelief regarding the science, this book is good, creepy fun

Fun Facts: Before his first novel, Suffer the Children, was published in 1977, John Saul was writing murder mystery comedies. Unable to get much interest in these, his agent eventually found an editor who suggested he try his hand at psychological occult thrillers — and the rest is history

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: What a nutria is. Seriously. I had no idea there were such things

How it inspired me: When I first read this many, many full moons ago, I was struck by the cult-ish horror of it and decided I would one day write something in that vein. I was able to do this in my novel, Dream Reaper

Additional thoughts: I’ve never read a book with so many children scattered about and getting lost. Jesus Christ. As soon as one was found, another went missing. There were times I wanted to step into the book and slap the parents for not keeping a better eye on their offspring, but I refrained, figuring meh … not my problem. This is precisely why I chose not to have children — so I wouldn’t have to worry about them running around and getting lost in the swamps and falling prey to creepy old people who want to suck their souls out of them in hopes of staying young

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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