Michael and Jillian Dansky seemed to have it all–a happy marriage, two successful careers, a bright future. But late one October evening, all that changed. Driving home from a Halloween masquerade, Michael momentarily nods off behind the wheel–and wakes to find nothing is the same.
Standing by his car is the little girl he came within a breath of running down. She leads Michael to her “home,” an empty house haunted by whispers, and sends him away with a haunting whisper of her own: “come find me.” But in the weeks to follow, it’s clear that someone–or some thing–doesn’t want Michael to find her: ominous figures in grey coats with misshapen faces are following him everywhere. And then Jillian wakes one morning replaced by a cold, cruel, vindictive woman Michael hardly recognizes as his wife. Michael must now search not only for the lost girl, but for a way to find the Jillian he's always loved, and to do so he must return to where the nightmare began. Down an isolated lane where he’ll find them, or die trying.
Anxieties over marriage, home and work amplify the eeriness of Golden's engrossing suburban horror novel. Michael and Jillian Dansky are heading home from a Halloween party when they give a young girl on the road a lift to a strange old mansion. She leaves them with the injunction to "come find me," and suddenly their lives are no longer the same. Michael, art director at an advertising firm, begins to incorporate the girl's features into his illustrations. When he tries to locate the house and its road, he can't. Then a coven of grotesque, wraithlike women attack him and Jillian, who's transformed into a brittle and bitchy harridan. Michael realizes his survival depends on retracing his steps on that fateful night and finding the elusive girl. Golden (The Boys Are Back in Town, etc.) knows how to craft suspense, but the bizarre incidents create expectations that the climax only partly satisfies, and the horror, once explained, has a preachy, politically correct edge. Still, this above-average stab at Stephen King-style horror draws the reader irresistibly into its mystery. (Apr. 5) FYI: Cemetery Dance (www.cemeterydance. com) is publishing the cloth edition ($40 ISBN 1-58767-119-0). Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.