is a critically respected writer of elegant horror, creating complex
and assured psychological studies of characters with ill-fated lives, who more
often than not must journey to the depths of hell. Stephen
is the master of plot, whose wit, imagination, and uncanny ability to
conjure the dark side has earned him over thirty bestselling novels. The joy of
a joint collaboration between these two skilled authors is that the result is
more than the sum of its parts. In 1984, Straub and King collaborated on The
, a frightening mythological quest undertaken by twelve-year-old Jack
Sawyer, who journeys to an alternate universe called The Territories. Black
is a braver and more twisted sequel to The Talisman
is sometimes referred to as both authors' best work to date. The reader rejoins
Jack twenty years after the events of The Talisman
. Jack, recently retired
from the LAPD and living in the sleepy town of Tamarack, Wisconsin, has put the
traumatic events of his past out of his mind, and is determined to keep them there.
When it appears that there is a serial killer loose in Tamarack who is murdering
and eating children, even Sawyer's friend, the local chief of police, cannot convince
him to join the investigation. However, when Jack begins having waking dreams
of robins' eggs and red feathers, he is compelled to seek out answers from the
house at the edge of town the house whose walls are painted black. Straub
and King perfectly complement each other here, seamlessly blending an exacting
eye for human frailty with a chilling narrative that will have you tearing breathlessly
through the pages. Marie, Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Twenty years ago, a boy named Jack Sawyer travelled to a parallel universe called The Territories to save his mother and her Territories "twinner" from a premature and agonizing death that would have brought cataclysm to the other world. Now Jack is a retired Los Angeles homicide detective living in the nearly nonexistent hamlet of Tamarack, WI. He has no recollection of his adventures in the Territories and was compelled to leave the police force when an odd, happenstance event threatened to awaken those memories.
When a series of gruesome murders occur in western Wisconsin that are reminiscent of those committed several decades earlier by a real-life madman named Albert Fish, the killer is dubbed "The Fisherman" and Jack's buddy, the local chief of police, begs Jack to help his inexperienced force find him. But is this merely the work of a disturbed individual, or has a mysterious and malignant force been unleashed in this quiet town? What causes Jack's inexplicable waking dreams, if that is what they are, of robins' eggs and red feathers? It's almost as if someone is trying to tell him something. As that message becomes increasingly impossible to ignore, Jack is drawn back to the Territories and to his own hidden past, where he may find the soul-strength to enter a terrifying house at the end of a deserted track of forest, there to encounter the obscene and ferocious evils sheltered within it.
"Black House allows us to see two master craftsmen, each at the top of his game, collaborating with every evidence of enormous enjoyment on a summery heartland gothic. The book is hugely pleasurable, and repays a reader in search of horror, adventure or of any of the other joys, both light and dark, one can get from the best work of either of these two scribbling fellows." Neil Gaiman, The Washington Post Book World
"[A]n immensely satisfying follow-up, a brilliant and challenging dark fantasy that fans of both authors are going to love....What is probably the most anticipated novel of the year turns out to be its most memorable to date, a high point in both the King and Straub canons." Publishers Weekly
The bestselling sequel to "The Talisman" is now in paperback. It's been 20 years since Jack Sawyer entered the Territories to save his mother, but he has no memory of those events. Now a retired homicide detective, Jack lives in rural Wisconsin, where a series of gruesome murders draws him back to the Territories. There he must enter a terrifying house and face the evils sheltered in it.
About the Author
is the author of more than thirty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, the novelist Tabitha King.
Peter Straub is the author of fourteen novels, which have been translated into more than twenty foreign languages. He lives in New York City with his wife, Susan, director of the Project Read to Me.
Table of Contents
1. Welcome to Coulee Country
2. The Taking of Tyler Marshall
3. Nights Plutonian Shore
4. Black House and Beyond
5. Once Upon a Time in the Territories