Reign Hardcover – Sep 1990
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From Publishers Weekly
One question raised by any horror story is: Why, if its supernatural monsters exist, haven't they been encountered before? Williamson ( Ash Wednesday ) resolves this problem in a believable, elegant manner, grounding his thoroughly enjoyable novel in our "normal" world. The story centers around a renovated theater in Pennsylvania and is arranged in three acts, plus overture and curtain call. The tension in Act I heightens as the reader must decide if this is a murder mystery, psychodrama, horror or fantasy, with Williamson offering clues to support each possibility. Theaters have a history of ghosts and accidents, but as the number of deaths at the Venetian mounts, the police become less inclined to accept verdicts of "accident." Owner/actor Dennis Hamilton has nothing obvious to gain from the killings, nor could he have caused them, but his strange behavior makes others wonder if he might not have a double or another personality--or something else entirely--that does want the deaths. Williamson's inventive resolution is sure to satisfy.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The theater background of Reign obviously must come from the authors years of experience in the theater. A wonderful book that I am happy to own.
Just writing about it makes me want to read it again.
I received this book as part of a Humble Bundle that I won from Brian Hodge. (Thanks, Brian!) A fellow horror reader in one of my horror groups chose it for a group read and I was excited about it, because the premise sounded so great. I was not disappointed.
There are some cliched themes here, but I loved the way Mr. Williamson made them his own. Not only were there the expected spirits, but there was an entirely new entity and a dangerous one he proved to be. A new type of doppelganger, once realized, nearly unstoppable. And no one was safe. Of course the denouement, would have to take place at the theater-what will happen during the performance? Will the main character win the role-the role of his life, so to speak? You will have to read this to find out.
This book was well written and the story well told. I think it could have been trimmed a bit as sometimes the main character's inner monologue was redundant. Even though a couple of the characters were cliches, I thought most of them came through as real people, capable of all the feelings and changes that go along with that.
This book definitely made me a fan of Chet Williamson and I'm looking forward to seeing if he has more work for me to discover. For now, I will say goodbye to the Venetian Theatre and all of its scary, wonderful history.
Highly recommended for fans of haunting stories!