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Reviewed by Gillian Polack (this review first published August 2007)
Kim Wilkins is a reliably entertaining writer. She knows the tropes for horror and her backgrounds feel secure and are detailed to the exact level they need to be. Nothing I’ve read by her is less than good, and at her best she is an outstanding genre writer. This makes her quite difficult to review, because I want to say all the same things I have always said when asked about her: that she’s a fine craftswoman with a natural flow of language; that she knows her stuff and uses it well; that her books are enjoyable.
The Infernal does all of these things, and occasionally just a little bit more. It’s not a book to read at night alone in mid-winter. Which is exactly what I did. Just don’t ask me about my dreams for a bit, please.
What’s The Infernal about (besides dreams)?
Lisa is a musician who is successful enough to make a (bare) living, but not so successful that she and her band aren’t looking for that major breakthrough. She starts worrying when one of her fans turns up dead in a forest and when she starts dreaming vivid memories of the past. She does all the right things: tells the police everything she knows about the murder; explores her dreams to find out what has triggered them and why they are coming to her and how she can diminish them. Then the one thing that ought to be going right (her best friend’s marriage to a surprisingly normal accountant) goes all awry. Lisa does what she can, and has to face demons on all sorts of levels. Read the rest of this entry »