by Missy Jane:
A few months ago I mentioned to a good friend that I’d read Heart-Shaped box and was duly impressed. I’m a big Stephen King fan, have been for most of my life, and I was thrilled to enjoy something from his son. That friend told me I absolutely had to read Horns. He promised it would blow me away and gave a quick rundown of the synopsis. I was immediately intrigued but it still took a few weeks for me to purchase it. Then it sat on my shelf along with many other unread books collecting dust. Fast forward to a week ago and I finally picked it up. Had I known how it was going to effect me I’m not sure if I would have waited or not. I’m the type of reader who gets emotionally involved with the characters if the book is good enough. And trust me, this book is more than good enough.
We meet the main character Ignatius Martin Perrish after a night of binge drinking in which the most notable thing he remembers is pissing on his shoes. He wakes the next morning and quickly discovered he has sprouted horns. Yes you read that right, horns sticking out of his forehead. They haven’t pushed all the way through the skin but they’re obvious. He walks out of the bathroom and interacts with his live-in girlfriend to see she doesn’t seem to notice them. Is he hallucinating? Is it a brain tumor? Perhaps he’s still drunk. The usual disbelief runs through his mind along the same tracks as what I expect I would initially think if faced with the same dilemma. But then something weird happens. His girlfriend tells him something awful about herself, a confession of her inner desires that he knows she would never have revealed before. That’s when he realizes the horns have a type of power over anyone he meets. They automatically begin spouting truths better left unsaid and nothing he says will stop them.
As if having horns isn’t bad enough, Ig also has a dark past. It’s nearing the one year anniversary of his girlfriend, Merris’, rape and murder. The crime remains unsolved but many believe Ig is the culprit. As he goes from person to person, seeking help or advice about the horns, he begins to unravel the mystery of Merris’ death. Soon he can’t stand to be around anyone as their confessions extract a heavy toll.
Overall this book was fantastic, everything I love to read in a good thriller novel. I’m not certain I would classify it as horror but it definitely had some horrific elements. I can confess it haunted me long after I turned the last page, even filling my waking thoughts the next morning. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending because I think Ig deserved more. However, there was an ending so no loose ends were left to make me bang my head against a wall.
Horns can be found on Amazon.com.
DarkMedia contributing writer Ms. Missy Jane is the alter ego of a married mother of four who was born and raised in Texas. She spends most of her time lost in worlds of her own making, alternately loving and hating such creatures as vampires, shape-shifters and gargoyles (to name a few). When not writing, she spends her time reading, taking photos of her beautiful daughters and training her husband to believe she’s always right.