Welcome to the small town of Blackstone, New Hampshire. A place that while on the surface seems quaint and peaceful, your normal Sunday best gossipy town, holds quite the number of secrets…
I picked up the book series The Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul on a whim after seeing it was a horror serial in six parts. One of my favorite books is The Green Mile by Stephen King, the first book to be done in this type of style and after reading the special note from John at the beginning you see his homage to this same style King began.
At first glance the books remind me of what Goosebumps used to do for their covers with the images not only pertaining to the story but being successful, at least always in my case, at grabbing my attention and interest. The six covers are adorned with the “gifts” that certain inhabitants of the peaceful town are about to receive.
The book series that started in 1996, centers on a main protagonist Oliver Metcalf. Oliver is the neighbor and owner of the Blackstone Asylum. When we are introduced to him in the series, we meet a man who is ready to move on from his families, and his own, past. He is working with the town to tear down the now abandoned Asylum and build something that does well for the community, putting in a new set of shops and restaurants.
As the wrecking ball sits idle by ready for the action to commence, we begin to meet other denizens of the town. They have come out to see the demolition for themselves, almost as though to ease their own burdens. Differences in attitudes and personalities, we are given glimpses into their lives and what they do for the town.
As they watch with baited breath as the wrecking ball begins its maiden voyage into the building, we also see that there is one among them that not only doesn’t want the past to be buried in the rubble but to be brought out in to the light for citizens to deal with.
The gifts each have their own back story and only one knows who the gifts are to belong to and must go to in order for the past to surface. From a doll with a dainty head of curls to a stereoscope that has such images demanding to be seen, each of the gifts find their new owners and with the gifts come the promise of death.
Overall the series is a good read from beginning to end and I have to say that with each tidbit of the puzzle I truly craved more information to put the full story together.
The books have a good flow and are ones I would definitely pick up for another trip to Blackstone, my stay felt too brief.