Quick. Name the top five masters of horror. If Bram Stoker and John Carpenter didn’t find their way onto your list, go make another list. Are Stoker and Carpenter on the list now? Good. Now the conceit of this blog post can work.
Your list will still need a new entry: E.P. Ferguson. Her debut novel Of Noble Blood has been called the horror version of Downton Abbey, but that hardly does justice to the craft on display. Ferguson has wildly succeeded in merging some of the trappings that make Downton so engaging, with a pulpy horror influence that sucks readers in from the first page. I wouldn’t pitch the novel as “the horror version of Downton,” I’d ask the reader to imagine if the creature from John Carpenter’s The Thing was uncovered not in Arctic, but in the Earl of Grantham’s library.
This isn’t like the obvious genre mashups—Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter—that flood the market. It’s savvy. It’s subtle. You’ll be hooked within the first few pages.
Ferguson also understands the key to profoundly effecting horror. She’s used the tools that Stoker used in Dracula to enhance the verisimilitude of the awful events that bring her characters to the brink. The horror within isn’t described, you live it.
Of Noble Blood is currently available in both paperback and eBook editions from Amazon. Get it now. When she has usurped Stephen King as the undisputed monarch of horror, you can tell your friends that you read a first edition of the book that started it all. You won’t regret it.
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