Just finished reading "The Desolate" and thought I'd write a review. I first picked up Brian's Book "Into the Badlands" and enjoyed it, giving it a four star rating. For a PA story of survival, I had a few nit picks with it, but Brian's characterization won me over in the end. I looked forward to his next novel.
"The Desolate" is it. This thing moves *fast*--I started it yesterday and finished it only 20 minutes ago. In a genre which really hasn't interested me since "The Silence of the Lambs." Jarrett has constructed a literary Tasmanian devil here, with some very very sharp teeth. I was pleasantly surprise at how well paced this story is, and its tractor pull on my attention. His characters are, as always, exceptionally drawn, focused, and ... released upon the reader.
Scott Stevenson is a haunted character. Bad luck seems to follow him around, and some of it is his own creation. In an attempt to escape the residue of a messy divorce, he relocates to a small town in Missouri, with the intent of making a fresh start. A new lady catches his eye, but she has a past, and couple of jilted lovers who aren't quite over her.
I clicked away the pages in this carefully wrought bear trap of a horror novel, and when the first boot fell, I was surprised. When the second boot dropped, well... by that time I could only read on to the unexpected finish. Production wise, "The Desolate" is a high quality novel of deception and surprising revelations. When Jarrett has his magic working, it's dark and viscous. This is a taunt, screaming guitar string of a horror story, and there are a few scenes that, I'll admit, made me squirm uncomfortably. Take heed of the "graphic scenes of violence" warning (and the strong language too, for that matter).
I think he's going to get a lot of attention with this one.
It has bestseller all over it.