Blackwater Val by William Gorman
Richard Franklin has left his Midwestern roots behind to live on the coast of Maine with his family. But in the autumn of the year 2000, he must return to his Illinois birthplace on a sorrowful journey. His wife Michelle has been killed in New England by a hit-and-run driver who is never found, so back home he comes with her cremated remains, to fulfill a final wish and on her birthday scatter her ashes in the park along the river in Blackwater Valley—simply Blackwater Val to locals—the small town where they both grew up and fell in love.
With him he brings his six-year-old daughter Katie who still grieves for her lost mother: Katie, who can sometimes guess who’s going to be on the phone before it rings. Who can stop all the clocks in the house, and break up clouds in the sky with her mind, and heal sicknesses, and who sometimes sees things that aren’t there...people who are no longer alive. All gifts she inherited from her mother.
Only something isn’t quite right in the Val.
Sinkholes are opening up, revealing the plague pits the sleepy hamlet was built over in the 1830s, when malaria and cholera outbreaks ran riot. Mysterious bird and fish die-offs begin to occur, and Katie can see ghosts of the dead gathering all around. But what she can’t see is the charred, centuries-old malevolence which has been waiting for her, and wants her for its very own. Or the pale Sallow Man who haunts the town’s nighttime streets...or the river witch—another Blackwater Val, of sorts—each of whom will be drawn one by one into the nightmarish bloodletting about to take place.
Blackwater Val carries on the proud tradition of Stephen King and Robert McCammon’s small town mysteries.
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing.
Interview with the author:
Q: So what makes this horror novel so special?
William Gorman: It’s an intriguing, nostalgic read woven inside a horror novel, taking you back to the not so distant past, a simpler time, just before the huge technology boom and pre-9/11. It’s good old-fashioned storytelling, the kind I grew up on, with an ending that hopefully will stay with you for a long while to come after you’ve turned the last page. It has a little something for everyone: suspense, some mystery, supernatural goings-on, and a dark, unspeakable evil—a haunting tale of coming to grief and going home again, with believable, three-dimensional characters, real people that you’ll feel you know personally when the book is finished.
Q: Why should readers give this American thriller a try?
William Gorman: It’s just a really good story. Highly entertaining, gripping, and frightening. A compelling read with many unique layers to it, many different elements. It has vindictive ghosts and haunted places and rumors of witches, even a history lesson to boot, with plenty of twists and turns, and little mysteries to surprise you along the way. It has characters that you’ll fall in love with and care about before it’s over, and they’ll teach you the meaning of fear, and friendship, and of redemption—it will make you think, not only about death but about life.
Q: Are there more books in the Blackwater Val Universe?
William Gorman: Yes, there is a sequel. I wanted to tell more of young Katie’s story, continue on with it. Delve into her character more as she comes of age and grows into womanhood. The book is titles Every Foul Spirit.
Blackwater Val categories:
- Haunted Houses
- Supernatural Suspense