Tim Curran is one of those authors whose books I really enjoy, but for some reason has never made the transition to the must buy list. If you were to ask me why this is I wouldn't be able to put y finger on it. Out of the five or so of his books that I have read, none of them have disappointed me, but at the same time none of them have ever set my world on fire either.
Long Black Coffin, is published by Dark Fuse who are fast becoming a genre favourite of mine. The story introduces us to Johnny Breede and his best friend, Kurt Tamberlyn, who like so many horror protagonists are from from dysfunctional working class backgrounds. Hell , Kurt's alcoholic father killed himself in the front seat of his 1967 GTO, the Long Black coffin of the book's title. So, when after a night partying Kurt is found dead in the front seat of the car, Johnny begins to believe that the car is cursed, and with the help of Kurt's mother goes about trying to get rid of the car. However, what with this being a horror story, this was never going to be that easy.
Now before we go any further I know some of you will be sitting there muttering "Christine" under their breath. I for one can't make any comparisons as I have never read Christine. Which in my opinion is a good thing, as it means I can come to this book without any preconceived thoughts on this book.
Despite being written in first person narrative, I've never really been a fan of first person in horror books, as it makes it so much harder to develop a real sense of dread and terror, Long Black Coffin is a tense and at times shocking story, that manages to break free from the constraints of its narrative. As with all good horror stories, a lot of the true terror and horror comes not from the supernatural elements of the story, but from the horrors of real life. In the case of Long Black Coffins, this mainly comes from the revelations about Kurt's father, and the torrid activities he got up to in his cellar.
Curran has filled this book with a cast of characters that, for the most part, make it very difficult for you care about, or actually like. Normally this would make for a trying reading experience, but Curran has gift for drawing out the best in his characters, and a talent for dialogue. Yes you really won't connect with the "hero" of the tale, but you will be drawn into this excellent story.
Long Black Coffin, has put Tim Curran, firmly in my authors I must red list, and I eagerly await his next offering.
The Long Black Coffin is a '67 GTO. A street-eater and a life-taker. Like an open grave, it's hungry for death. Vic Tamberlyn committed suicide in it. His son Kurt asphyxiated in it. Maybe there's no connection, but Kurt's best friend, Johnny Breede, doesn't believe it. He begins seeing dark connections, convinced that beneath the skin of the Coffin there beats a black, terrible heart. But it's even worse than he can imagine. For the Long Black Coffin has a history. And that history will lead Johnny into a web of murder, insanity, and sexual perversion. He'll learn gruesome family secrets that connect a decade-old series of child abductions to a primordial evil that lives on in the car in the form of a sadistic teenage girl. A girl whose mother was human, but whose father was anything but.