Selected for one of my monthly book clubs, Stephen Dobyns The Burn Palace was a surprisingly fun Horror Murder Mystery, which also worked as a buddy cop story to boot. The novel begins with the abduction of a baby from a small town hospital (the baby is replaced in his crib with a large snake), and quickly shifts back and forth between its many main characters, including a young boy named Hercel Jr. who ends up with a friend he didn’t ask for and (mild spoiler) one of the more horrific narratives I’ve come across in recent fiction.
Many have compared the writing to Stephen King, and although I can see the comparisons; small town setting, horrific elements, supernatural elements, a young teen or pre-teen facing things that would make adults run screaming, I found Dobyns definitely had his own flavor – and although I can’t get into my favourite bits of the novel in terms of the Supernatural elements due to spoilers, it felt like a great cop novel for me, bringing an incredibly dark idea to a small New England town.
A Hearty thumbs up!
1 month ago