Being, in Publisher's Weekly parlance "an aging Gen-Xer", myself, I am greatly impressed on how Spector is able to get the details of my reality so dead on that I trust him implicitly as he moves into compelling historical detail and creates from whole cloth a unique metaphysical evil.
Having been a casual fan of THE BRIDGE and LIGHT AT THE END, I've found his writing to be more intense, thanks to a tighter focus. While many novels I've read lately tend to be bloated and meandering, with little pay-off in terms of ideas, this book packs a wallop thanks to tense, sinewy prose and smart handling of racial politics.
The book also benefits from an experimental way of handling exposition, "setting the scene" before launching into the drama. He also has a much better sense of drive and pacing than either is earlier work or much of his "competition." I can only imagine these improvements are a product of his screenwriting.
Finally, since books should be "about something," it's interesting for a white horror writer to attack the issue of racism and the legacy of slavery in America in such a bold and sophisticated way, while keeping the bulk of the protagonists the white, disaffected males typical of the genre. The "aging Gen-Xers" once made lots of noise about racism and sexism and the like. The '60's radicals have certainly gone the way of the buffalo. Dennis Hopper is a conservative now. As the 35-45 year old set try to reconcile mortgage payments with ideals, it's nice to see a mature yet pulpy book that addresses this tension so eloquently. On a broader note, it's nice to see a writer who's prose or politics have not mellowed, but, instead, have become seemingly more ferocious and passionately felt.
Sign me up for the next one.