Those Across The River by Christopher Buehlman
Ace Books, New York, 2011
Borrowed from my library. Nominated for the 2012 World Fantasy Award. This is the first book I’ve read for R.I.P. VII.
I think is I try to summarize this novel I might give something away so I am including a quote from the author’s website:
The year is 1935. Veteran of the Great War and failed academic Frank Nichols ignores a warning not to move into the home he inherits in the small southern town of Whitbrow; a home his wife calls “The Canary House” because of its fresh coat of yellow paint.
But there is another house in the woods beyond the river, an estate that lies in ruins; the once-magnificent Savoyard plantation, where a cruel forebear of Frank’s drove his slaves to murder him. Frank means to find this ruin and write about the horrors that occurred there, but little does he suspect that his presence in town will stir something that should have been left sleeping. Something with a long memory. If the people of Whitbrow have forgotten why they don’t go across the river, they will soon remember.
This is southern gothic with a twist. Buehlman has written a novel that evokes the years of the Great Depression in a small town in the southern United States, with undercurrents of poverty and racism. More than that, there is terror. Hidden away on the other side of the river is memory, and that memory carries horror with it. This combination of elements creates an interesting analogy, horror and parts of our history as a nation. I found this a great read for R.I.P. Give it a try.