Review: Snowblind / Author: Christopher Golden / Publisher: Headline / Release Date: Out Now
Twelve years ago the Massachusetts town of Coventry was hit by a huge snowstorm in which several people died. But there was something in that storm, something deadly and ancient, something that peered through children’s windows with cruel and malevolent eyes. Now it’s coming back.
Snowblind is Christopher Golden’s latest horror opus, and although his name may not be synonymous with the genre, like Stephen King’s or James Herbert’s, he’s certainly no stranger to it, having collaborated with Hellboy and Sookie Stackhouse creators Mike Mignola and Charlene Harris. Like his contemporary Stephen King, Golden has a knack for creating believable characters; any one of them could easily be your next door neighbour.
Most prominent among these is widowed school teacher Allie Schapiro, who loses two loved ones during the first storm, and police detective Joe Keenan, who is still haunted by that night when he failed to save the life of a young boy. There’s Miri Ristani, who was so traumatised by that night that she moved across the continent – but then she receives a phone call... from a man who died twelve years ago. The remaining characters include a bar owner, a mechanic and part-time criminal and a recluse who lost his younger brother, amongst others.
And therein lies a problem. There are just too many characters for the novel's three hundred plus pages. This is a book that would have benefited greatly from a smaller cast. However, that’s a minor quibble, as the tension building up to the oncoming storm is chillingly high (pun intended). One very disturbing sequence involves a little girl who begins acting and talking in a manner exactly like her late grandmother. But hers is not an isolated case. Golden wisely never reveals the origins of the creatures that hide in the storm. Are they gods from a long forgotten culture, or are they an elemental force that has existed since time began? It’s not important. What is important is that Golden has created a darn good contemporary ghost story that’s perfect for a cold winter's evening and it will make you think twice before venturing out in the snow after dark.