Dark Hollow by Brian Keene

“It was on the first day of spring that Big Steve and I saw Shelly Carpenter giving head to the big hairy man.”

Now isn’t that a hell of a first line for a book?  This is how Dark Hollow starts off it’s story.  Adam is a writer and Big Steve is his faithful dog.  Together they are the first ones to notice that something is really off in their community and that it all has to do with an area of the woods called LeHorn’s Hollow.  Strange music can be heard echoing from the area, music that does odd things to the libidos of those that hear it.  Now that normally might not seem like such a bad thing.  But along with the music there is an evil prescience that comes out of the woods and causes all sorts of havoc.  When people start to disappear and others begin to die Adam gathers his neighbors together to do battle with the evil from the woods.  But can they stop it? 

I’m kind of torn on this book.  See I really like Brian Keene as an author and this is another great effort from him.  But the idea that the villain here is all about hedonistic behavior and getting some is just a bit much for me.  The book focuses way too much on sex, and sort of feels like a trashy romance novel for the horror geek crowd.  Now that is in no way to mean that Keene does a poor job writing, because the book is tight and the story moves along briskly.  Spoiler:  I just never found the satyr basically wanting to bang everyone to be much of a villain.  So that part of the book just didn’t work for me.  I suppose that this might work better for others, and if it does you will definitely get a kick out of this book.  In the past I’ve also complained that most of Keene’s books predictably end on a down note.  I love the ending to Dark Hollow, which ties everything back into the story nicely enough. 

This is one of those reviews that is just exceedingly difficult to write.  Brian Keene is a hell of an author.  His books are always an easy read with well-developed characters and a story line that is paced perfectly and that goes down easy.  Keene is the sort of author that can get you sucked into a book so that you end up spending 3 or 4 hours reading without realizing it.  Dark Hollow is no different for his other works in that way.  Obviously I really wasn’t fond of the story but I still finished the book in a couple of days and didn’t feel like it was a chore to get thru.  So if the satyr storyline and the idea of many sex scenes appeal to you then you might want to give this one a read.  If not check out Dead Sea or The Conqueror Worms instead. 

reviewed by John Shatzer

© Copyright 2009 John Shatzer