Joe Hill: Author worth watching
Horns tells the story of Ignatius "Ig" Perrish, a very troubled young man who wakes up one morning to discover that he has sprouted horns on his head. Yes, "devil" horns. He has spent the night drinking himself to oblivion at the site where his girlfriend, Merrin Williams, was brutally raped and killed. To make matters worse, Ig is the main suspect.
Ig soon discovers that the horns cause people to confess their deepest darkest secrets. None of what he hears is pleasant, and as he encounters the people he cares most about, the secrets and confessions get more painful.
The characters Hill has created are nicely complex, flawed yet capable of great kindness and redemptive qualities. The story follows Ig's efforts to understand what has happened to him, and to find out who really killed Merrin. Told in a series of flashbacks, each chapter is told from a different characters point of view, so the reader gets the story in bits and pieces. As each character speaks, they reveal as much about themselves as they do about the mystery surrounding Merrin's death. Unease builds as one of the characters slowly reveals his true nature, which is really where the evil in the story lies, not in Ig's horns.
Horns is an engrossing read, it'll keep you guessing until the end. It can be read as both a mystery and as speculative fiction. I also recommend Hill's short story collection, 20th Century Ghosts.
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