Every now and then, a book is so well-written that knowing what the heck is going on just does not matter.
Christopher Golden’s newest novel “Snowblind” is one of those books. Perhaps best called a ghost story or psychological thriller, Golden mesmerizes readers with his superb storytelling skills and grips them tight through the last page.
By the fourth chapter, I still didn’t know what I was reading, but I sure didn’t want to put it down.
The story revolves around the small New England town of Coventry.
When a blizzard kills 18 people, the town is devastated. Twelve years later, another blizzard strikes, but this time the ghosts of the dead — and the things that killed them — have come with it.
With a cast of around three dozen characters, it is easy to think the story would be bogged down with backstories and asides. While the book is filled with these things, Golden artfully crafts them into the narrative, using the characters’ motivations, flaws and regrets to drive the story.
The only difficulty with the cast size is remembering who is who and how each is connected to the other residents of Coventry.
Golden does an admirable job of including gentle reminders within the character’s internal dialogue, but it is still a bit overwhelming.
But more than anything, this story is about the lives of the cast.
Each of them serves a purpose and not one is weak or extraneous.
The momentary confusion of forgetting the role of a character is worth the story woven around them.
As I mentioned, this book could be called a ghost story, a psychological thriller or even literary horror. “Snowblind” harkens to early Stephen King novels, where monsters were rarely explained and their motivations were simple.
In Golden’s tale, these creatures, referred to only as ice men, are similarly unexplained — beyond their motivations. How they came to exist and what they once were is only vaguely referenced. Readers are taken into the action where, much like in real life, unanswered questions abound.
“Snowblind” hits the shelves today and is available in hardcover, audio book and eBook.
St. Martin’s Press
Audio book, $19.99