by Karen Hall
“The question we should all be asking ourselves is not ‘How could this happen?’ but “Why did it take so long?’”
The book’s 20th anniversary release comes with rewritten text, an updated ending and a new character, all of which is intended to address shortcomings some perceived in the original cult classic. Comments here refer to the newly revised edition.
Of the four Landry brothers, three have now died in tragic circumstances involving murder and insanity, as have their parents. Randa was involved with the third brother and is looking for the fourth. The remaining brother knows he’s cursed but has no idea how to avoid his fate as a demonic force begins focusing its attention on him. Father Michael wants to help but is wrestling with his own history and faith as the characters converge and the evil strengthens.
Part mystery, thriller and horror, pacing is a key element in the work and one of its greatest assets. By the halfway point, when the demon’s screaming at full volume, the book has accelerated to a dead sprint. Just hang on.
As may be expected the story is deeply religious, and it’s got a heavier hand than other occult works such as The Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby. But regardless of your personal beliefs, Dark Debts is a classic, fast-paced war between good and evil with a strong moral compass. Most horror readers are going to want to catch this title fight.
“The ancient Enemy of earth . . . Enemy of the faith . . . Enemy of the human race . . . Best Supporting Enemy in a Recurring Role . . . and let’s not forget Most Likely to Succeed.”
*Cemetery Dance has announced a new line selected and introduced by Stephen King, of which the anniversary edition of Dark Debts is book #1.