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DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

The Rainy Season
James P.Blaylock
Ace/ $21.95/ 356p
ISBN: 0441006183

Jame P. Blaylock (WINTER TIDES, ALL THE BELLS ON EARTH, NIGHT RELICS) is a two-time World Fantasy Award-winner who writes modern supernatural fiction that mixes fantasy with horror to produce a distinctive magic realism. He seems somewhat ignored by horror readers, perhaps because he is published by Ace under their fantasy imprint; perhaps because he writes quiet, intelligent horror. No flash, no gash. Low-key and literate, Blaylock is a uniquely chilling writer. In his latest, THE RAINY SEASON, Phil Ainsworth is a solitary widowed photographer living in California's mission country in an old house. He becomes the guardian of his nine-year-old niece Betsy -- who turns out to have unusual powers. A counter-plot is introduced set in 1884 pivoting around a cult leader who drowns his dying daughter in a well next to Ainsworth's home. The sacrificed girl's memories are crystallized by the magical well, but the crystal is stolen. In a complex plot involving the well as a time-portal, people from both the past and present close in upon Ainsworth and Betsy in order to get the crystal or to deal with the portal. Like the best horror writers, Blaylock uses the supernatural to explore human darkness and he does so with exquisite prose. Eerie and atmospheric, THE RAINY SEASON is enthralling. -- Paula Guran

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Copyright © 2002 Paula Guran. All Rights Reserved.