The Dark - Press Archive - Synopsis of the Novel "Sheep"

 
Source: Publishers Weekly
"Sheep" by Simon Maginn)
1996


A grief-stricken family, a tragedy-haunted house on the cliffs of
Wales and a small town's secret history are the plot threads that
British author Maginn weaves together in this tantalizing novel, a
synthesis of supernatural and psychological horror that was written
before his Virgins and Martyrs (1995) but is only now being published
Stateside.

Contractor James Tullian moves his family temporarily to Ty-Gwyneth,
an estate outside a rural sheep-farming town, to give them a fresh
start following the drowning death of their young daughter. Shortly
after James unearths a pile of charred bones near their home, his wife,
Adele, begins incorporating gruesome images into her increasingly
morbid still-life paintings. Meanwhile, their seven-year-old son, Sam,
falls victim to peculiar fits and visions.

Townsfolk suspect that the Tullians are succumbing to the legacy of
madness and murder that overwhelmed the house's previous tenants,
but James fears that his loved ones may be manifesting psychopathologies
that predate their move and that now have found the perfect place to
vent themselves. Maginn sifts the novel's truth from its mystery like an
expert archeologist, meticulously exposing deeper and darker strata that
underlie even the most innocent events.

Oscillating between the bleak thoughts of his emotionally tortured
characters and the stark, moody Welsh landscape, he creates a thick
atmosphere of dread that forces the weight of the past inexorably
down on the present, yet never impedes the brisk momentum of the tale.
This is the rare example of a novel of subtle horror that should appeal to
lovers of the fast-paced modern horror thriller.

Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
 

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