Author: Joe Lansdale
Original language: English
Since a mysterious childhood illness, Harry Wilkes has experienced horrific visions. Gruesome scenes emerge to replay themselves before his eyes. Triggered by simple sounds, these visions occur anywhere a tragic event has happened. Now in college, Harry feels haunted and turns to alcohol to dull his visionary senses. One night, he sees a fellow drunk easily best three muggers. In this man, Harry finds not only a friend that will help him kick the booze, but also a sensei who will teach him to master his unusual gift. Soon Harry’s childhood crush, Kayla, comes and asks for help solving her father’s murder. Unsure of how it will affect him, Harry finds the strength to confront the dark secrets of the past, only to unveil the horrors of the present.
From Publishers Weekly
In this superior East Texas crime thriller from Stoker-winner Lansdale (
The prolific Lansdale returns, after sojourns in pulp, sf, and horror, to work his peculiar mojo on the supernatural crime thriller. Harry Wilkes has inherited his family’s curse of experiencing “dark sounds,” full-sensory recordings of traumatic events that can be unleashed by, for example, the banging of a toilet lid upon which a guy once blew his brains out. Booze helps hold the “ghosts in the noise” at bay, but his life as a drunken recluse isn’t going well. He gets things under control with the help of an eccentric sensei named Tad, but when a boyhood girlfriend named Kayla comes home to find her father’s killer, Harold grits his teeth and journeys into the dark once more. Lansdale’s prose finds the perfect pitch between the laid-back cadences of front-porch storytelling and the thriller’s demand for growing urgency. He is a bit unreconstructed when it comes to gender relations–or at least the vocabulary to describe them–but he’s got both the charisma and the balls to pull it off. Funny and scary, with a barn-burner ending.