THE CHOSEN CHILD By Graham Masterton – Reviewed

THE CHOSEN CHILD By Graham Masterton

In Warsaw there have been a number of murders. The victims have all been decapitated. The police have no clues. When Jan Kaminski hears a child’s cries on a building site he goes to investigate, only to become the latest headless victim of the murderer they are calling The Executioner.

The building site that Jan is killed on belongs to Senate Hotels, an international company who will try anything to get round the various delays that having a murder on your site entail. Sarah Leonard, an American of Polish descent, is determined to pull out all the stops to keep the project on track and on budget. But as more murders take place Sarah finds that the only way to do that is to find out who the murderer is…

Masterton mixes in some history, a bit of gangster warfare, and a nice bit of fraud and treachery to spice things up.

Post-communist Poland is well realised, with lots of intricate detailing adding to the brooding atmosphere of the novel. Some of the best parts of the book take place in the pre-war sewers.

The characters are all present and correct, but don’t really touch you in the way a Stephen King character does. The focus here is on the story, the mystery that unravels as Sarah and her rag-tag bunch of investigators get closer and closer to the murderer, and the sources of other problems.

Despite a weak ending which feels like the publishers have demanded that every loose end is tied up, and what looks to be the Charles Bridge in Prague on the cover, and the strangeness of the villain, this is still a good read. Not many horror novels feature Poland, which is fascinatingly portrayed, and the sewers make one of their best appearances (claustrophobic, atmospheric, tight, stinky, perfect home for a murderer) in horror novel since The Rats.

Overall this is an above average novel that keeps you turning the page, but is ultimately forgettable.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: