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Severn House paperback £9.99
review by Ian R. Faulkner
Graham Masterton began his writing career way back in 1975 with The Manitou, a chilling tale of a Native American medicine man reborn in the present day to exact his revenge on the white man, which became an instant bestseller. Since then, the author has penned well over a hundred novels across the various genres and won numerous awards for his work. With Edgewise, Masterton has once more returned to the familiar Native American trappings that made The Manitou such a good read.
Lily Blake is a Minneapolis realtor whose children have been kidnapped by her ex-husband (with help from a couple of seriously nasty guys from the fathers' league against mothers' evil). When the police and the FBI fail to return her kids, or even turn up any significant clues as to their whereabouts, Lily, in desperation, turns to a local Native American private investigator named John Shooks. John, it seems, has a guaranteed way to return Lily's children and introduces Lily to the mysterious George Iron Walker and his spooky companion, Hazawin.
George Iron Walker and Hazawin agree to summon up a Wendigo, an ancient Sioux spirit of the forests, to track down Lily's children. The price for this, which Lily agrees to pay even though she has little chance of actually coming up with the goods, is a piece of land Lily's firm is brokering for a local property developer. The land at Mystery Lake once belonged to the Sioux and it has deep religious significance for George and his pal. The Wendigo is soon up to its antlers in cannibalistic, blood soaked carnage and when it comes time to pay up, Lily refuses and suddenly finds herself the focus of the George Iron Walker's and the Wendigo's monstrous rage.
Edgewise, which takes its name from the Wendigo's ability to disappear by turning edgewise to its victims, is a fast paced, easy read and, as always, Masterton's prose is clean and sharp and totally engaging. The story's only failing is in the protagonist's decision not to pay up for the Wendigo's services, which comes across as a little out of character, as well as totally suicidal, and smacks of nothing more than a plot device to place Lily in peril. That said, as the story rips along towards its conclusion, this slight hiccup in our suspension of disbelief doesn't distract too much, and Edgewise remains an exciting horror novel and well worth the investment.
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