Friday, September 12, 2014

Forgotten Books: Black Horizon - Robert Masello

I don't remember seeing this horror novel when it came out from Jove in 1989, and Robert Masello's name is only vaguely familiar to me. But BLACK HORIZON turns out to be a pretty entertaining psychological horror yarn.

Jack Logan is a musician who plays in the orchestra for a newly opened Broadway show. It's opening night, in fact, when Jack saves the life of an old man who's been hit by a cab outside the theater. The old man actually dies, but when Jack touches him, he's able to go across to the Other Side and pull him back. This isn't the first time such a thing has happened—Jack saved the life of a friend of his the same way when both of them were kids—and this mysterious ability is probably connected to the fact that while Jack's mother was pregnant with him, she was terribly injured in a car crash and was kept alive by artificial means until he was born.

The incident on opening night brings Jack to the attention of a scientist who's investigating what happens when people die. It won't come as a surprise to anybody who's ever read a horror novel that the scientist turns out to be more than a little crazy. He's able to convince Jack to make more trips to the other side of death and back, which is okay until on one of those trips, something comes back with him...

Two things that work against BLACK HORIZON are its predictability and its slow pace. But Masello writes well enough to keep the reader interested, and Jack is a likable protagonist and you can't help but want to find out what's going to happen to him. And when Masello does finally crank up the action, it's pretty darned good. Everything comes to a satisfying conclusion, and I have to say I enjoyed BLACK HORIZON. The original edition is long out of print, but there's an e-book edition that's available. If you're a fan of psychological horror, it's worth reading.

1 comment:

Todd Mason said...

Published by Jove as horror in 1989 is a good way to get lost in the shuffle...wonder what else Masello wrote, and will Go Look.