Greg Gifune; Jill Bauman (illustrator)
Cemetery Dance, Jun 1 2010, $30.00
In 1983 the summer stock season on Cape Cod is over. Three actors and a stagehand drive a 1967 Ford from the Cape to Maine; a six to seven hour drive as a respite before New York City theater or college. On a lonely stretch of I-95 in Maine heading to Banger, the quartet (Billy, Stefan, Alex, and Tory) are hammered by an odd violent storm that comes out of nowhere and seems to attack their Fairlane. Then a bird crashes into the windshield leaving behind blood, no corpse and Billy believing it is the harbinger of death.
They exit in Boxer Hills, population 108. None of the fearless foursome expected anything beyond a small rustic village. Instead they find what appears to be a ghost town stuck in the Truman-Eisenhower Era. They soon learn to escape from Boxer Hills means surviving until the sun rises. This village is where seventeenth century rituals wrought a malevolence that in the late twentieth century still welcomes guests permanently.
This is a terrific horror thriller that starts a bit slow ironically while driving on I-95, but once the quartet leave the Interstate for a rural stop, the pace accelerates into hyperspeed as the protagonists are not just Catching Hell, they seem in hell. Readers will feel they are caught in the middle of this tense horror thriller enhanced by the B&W drawings as Boxer Hills is a Maine version of the Hotel California; once you’re inside, you never leave; the four friends learn the only out is death or survive until the sun rises following a night of evil.