Tuesday, September 28, 2021


KatieKatie by Michael McDowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Philo Drax goes to care for her aging grandfather, she quickly winds up accused of his murder...

Michael McDowell is one of my favorite horror writers from the last forty-something years. My wife got this for me sometime after our son was born and I managed to find time to read it over the past couple weeks.

Written in a style reminiscent of his work on Blackwater, Katie isn't a horror novel as much as suspense with a heaping helping of tragedy porn. Every time things seem to be going her way, her cousin Katie and her parents, the Slapes, show up like a zit on school picture day. Philo loses what money she has and has relatives and friends murdered every time her paths cross with the Slapes, especially the hammer wielding fortune teller Katie.

The book is written in short chapters with frequent reversals of fortune, making it hard to put down but not without a sense of mounting dread. There were several parts when things were brightening up for Philo that I felt myself bracing for the eventual kick in the balls.

I thought it would be akin to a religious experience when the bad guys met their fates. While not that powerful, it was quite satisfying.

While Katie wasn't my favorite Michael McDowell book, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Four out of five stars.

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