Mr. Hands Mass Market Paperback
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In MR. HANDS we are introduced to a young man with psychic abilities who can use his supernatural skills to seek out pain and evil and destroy it. However, those in the greatest pain are children without hope and destined to awful ends, and in providing mercy killings, the young man is dubbed a serial killer. After many years of following his calling, and gathering the ghosts of these children inside himself, his power has grown much stronger. Eventually this mystical power comes in contact with a mother whose missing daughter is feared the victim of a sexual predator. Her rage and pain are able to call upon this energy and give it the face and body of a small wooden doll. It's also given a name. MR. HANDS.
Now MR. HANDS is on a mission of vengeance and offers absolutely no mercy to those he is set in motion against. Not even when a mistake is made and an innocent might have to suffer.
Braunbeck makes us feel all the driving forces of his characters. The confusion, fear, anger, misunderstandings, and unresolved hurts. His characters are fully human, with all the frailties and faults the rest of us have. His wonderfully imaginative story is gripping, horrifying, and provocative, with enough blood to satisfy the gorehounds but also strengthened by a superior writing style. The fantastical elements in the novel all serve the purpose of underscoring the conflicted nature of the human condition. Serious and thoughtful, this is horror at its best.
Mr. Hands starts off as three separate events that come together to form a tight and haunting ending. It all begins with a little boy who was born not out of an act of love but by what his father called - a mistake. He was loved by his weak mother and he was abused by the father, harvesting special powers that helped him seek out children who suffered the same way he did. His mental scars never let him grow pas his eleventh year while his body grew into that of a man, a man on a mission to end child abuse and to inflict punishment, not revenge on the parents who did it to them. Ronnie, for that was his name, ran into Lucy Thompson, another main character, when he was a few years old and left her with what he thought of as a gift. In reality his actions started a chain of events that would some day conclude in cataclysmic proportions in the small, sleepy town of Cedar Hill. Much happens in between, mostly bad things that are best not spoiled to the reader. Years later they meet again but under much darker circumstances, where a creature of death and blind justice is born, making monsters out of those who wants to do good by helping to kill others. This was part horror and part supernatural with a dose of gray morality threw into the mix.
The book is a very fast read and the author does a great job of describing everything in an immaculate detail. After reading it I am still haunted by the pain and suffering the kids endured, especially since that kind of abuse happens in real life, and the ice pick feeling of sheer fear in throats of their parents, those who genuinely loved and missed them was more than real. The element of cruel punishment inflicted on the guilty was satisfying but it came with a hefty price tag to those who administered it.
- Kasia S.
Besides a few typos (shame, shame, Leisure Books!), I found every chapter, every paragraph, and every sentence infused with such passion, it was hard for me to get the lump out of my throat. As a parent of two young children, this was a difficult book to read, but the message of hope and helping others in need made it easier to get through. I can't recommend this book enough. So far, this is my favorite book of 2007, in horror, or any other genre. Mr. Braunbeck, I feel priviledged to have read such a wonderful and powerful book. Thank you.