You probably won't be surprised by any of the twists in this novel. You probably won't sympathize much with the central character, as he too readily ignores the dangers presented to him. But you can't help but enjoy Williamson's writing style, and his creativity.
I read every J. N. Williamson book I get my hands on, because I know he is a terrific, if underrated, horror writer. "The Houngan" is not his best, but it is still pretty darn good.
Van Cerf finds himself without a wife, raising his teenage son alone, in an apartment that's seen its better days. He's out of a job, too, and as such goes to DeSilvier--a perfume manufactoring giant. Mysteriously, he's accepted.
At first, everything seems great. His boss, Horace DeSilvier, is a powerful man, with Haitian roots that run deeper than can be imagined, but he also seems to genuinely care about his employees, and goes out of his way to make Van feel at home.
But then Van learns things. Like people don't quit--if they turn in their resignation, they die an accidental death. And no unions, no matter what. And the third floor is off limits...
A novel that combines the modern business struggle and Voodoo, "The Houngan" is a good summer read. I don't know if the information about Voodoo is accurate--I'm guessing some of it's made up--but it's entertaining nonetheless. And Horace DeSilvier is definitely a menacing villain, when the occasion calls for it.
This is a good horror novel. Not the best out there by any means, but it's still worth your taking the time to read it. It's entertaining, and that's what a good horror story should be.