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Stephen King's influence is apparent in Kenyon's debut spooker about White Falls, Maine, a sleepy backwater mired in ordinary smalltown routines until the day that ex-con Billy Smith arrives, drawn by dreams of death and dark purpose. Accompanying Billy is Gloria Johnson, a hooker he felt compelled to kidnap; she happens to be plagued by similar dreams. Meanwhile, Jeb Taylor, a local boy, has fallen under the spell of an amulet with a sinister history reaching back almost three centuries to the town's founding. As the characters struggle to understand the amulet's malignant influence, they come to terms with their ordained roles in the impending showdown between Good and Evil. Kenyon gives his tale an impressive panoramic sweep that shows the horrors manifesting subtly and insidiously through the experiences of a large cast of characters. Though the climax is a chaotic jumble that doesn't answer all the questions raised along the way, it has an energy and enthusiasm that make up for the book's otherwise formulaic plotting. (Jan.)
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Nate Kenyon grew up in a small town in Maine with dark nights and long winters to feed his interest in writing. He earned a BA in English from Trinity College in Hartford, CT in 1993, winning awards in playwriting and fiction. His dark fiction stories have appeared in various magazines and in the horror anthology Terminal Frights. Kenyon has worked in the Massachusetts public library system, and as the Director of Marketing & Communications for a New England law school. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers. Kenyon lives in a recently-restored 1840s Greek Revival home in the Boston area with his wife and their three children. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.