Maberry, Jonathan. Ghost road blues. New York: Pinnacle, 2006. 472pp.
A great read, a fantastic first novel full of great action, spooky treats and gonzo villains. Basically, there's this hick town which has turned Halloween into a kind of industry, with specialised boutiques and rides. But, little do we know that the town is haunted by an ancient evil that is reawakening after being defeated 30 years before. The good guys are not really aware of what is going on as the bad guys get all their forces in order for the first cataclysmic encounter. The good guys win, of course, but not without some losses. However, this is the first book in a projected trilogy so I imagine that there's lots of carnage to come.
There are some first novel issues here, including a slightly flabby page count, overly precious and smug characters and an over reliance on snappy dialogue. Crow, for example, is far too obviously an idealized version of the way the author sees himself, while Val is equally obviously an idealized version of his adolescent dreams of a powerful, sexy kick-ass women who somehow totally loves the complete goofball main character.
Overall, though, I have to say that there are far more positives than negatives for this novel and I'm looking forward to reading the sequels.