Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New This Month: House of Reckoning by John Saul

After a couple of books that had some fans wondering if this author had lost his touch, bestselling author John Saul proves himself still in good form with his 36th novel. And while House of Reckoning (Ballantine) doesn’t even pretend to be high art, it’s every bit as compelling as the best of Saul’s work that started with the multi-million copy selling Suffer the Children in 1977.

In House of Reckoning we meet 14-year-old Sarah Crane, trying to recover from the loss of her mother. Things get worse when her grief-filled and booze-soaked father kills a man, leaving him in jail and Sarah in foster care.

A teacher set on mentoring the young girl brings Sarah to her ancestral home, Shutters, where House of Reckoning spins along on a sort of Shining-Meets-Carrie trajectory. Make no mistake: despite the obvious comparisons, Saul isn’t Stephen King, nor has he ever been. But, at its best, his writing is compelling, entertaining and frightening enough to keep those pages moving rapidly and House of Reckoning is certainly among his best.

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