Title: The Tone Poet
Author: Mark Rickert
Genres: Horror | Paranormal | Thriller
Length: 429 pages | 6994 Locations
When Cameron suffered a car accident at age 6, he was dead for 4 minutes, during which he experienced something that would forever change him. From then on, the out-worldly music never left him. When an odd stranger comes along promising to relieve him of the nightmares and at the same time unveil a very old mystery, Cameron is seduced into a truly horrifying trial.
I have to admit I am baffled at how this book has not become a hit by now.
When I read Overture, the book’s prologue, I was immediately enthralled, particularly by the way the author weaved the story into embarrassment which turned to anger which turned to utter disgust and panic.
When he introduces us to Cameron, and then to Holloway, things slow down a bit, but there is this constant eerie feeling following our main character. I was captured by what happened to him and by his duality in wanting to do something but fearing it was wrong, never actually knowing it or at least believing it was worth it.
At the same time we meet other characters, each with their own voices, fears and desires, who all play into the story, insignificant as they may sound at first.
Rickert was masterful in the way he infused a feeling of normality into a place where obviously very wrong things were happening.
It is not a perfect book. I would say it is definitely strongest in the first few chapters.
Some things were a bit repetitive, others fairly predictable and I did struggle with the pace. I think that opening chapter was so damn good it would be nearly impossible for the rest of the book to follow through in the same standard of quality because it really had everything.
Also, I struggled with some of our main character’s decision that didn’t really make sense to me. For instance, I could not understand why he did not just write the Nocturnes in private to purge himself and then burn them, so Bloom couldn’t get them, or why it took him so long to understand how dangerous Bloom was, or why he threw Kalek under the bus by confronting Bloom with what only Kalek could have told him, amongst many others.
Bottom line is there are many authors out there who are inspired by Stephen King but few are able to produce something even remotely close to my favourite author’s stories. Even if some references were a tad too obvious (Carrie, The Shining and ‘Salem’s Lot all come to mind, for example), the fact is I for one have not come across anything that came as close as The Tone Poet.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from Sep 17th to Sep 21st, 2016