Horror has gone through a huge change at the box office and is now one of the hottest entertainment trends. In keeping with this tradition, slasher books are back in a big way. Unlike those of the past, though, today’s slashers tread the line between gore and societal commentary. This is perfectly illustrated in April A. Taylor’s newest book, Evil Eye: A Slasher Story.
The basic story is familiar: a killer stalks five people. The modern twist is that there’s a lot of diversity among the characters. The group is anchored by Annette, a 23-year-old lesbian. Other characters include Spencer, a Black man in his 60s; Chad, a 32-year-old whose college degree turned out to be useless; Kate, a teenager who is an eternal optimist; and Heather, an alcoholic in her 40s.
The killer takes out his fantasies on the group of five people. The extra twist is the hurricane that happens to be passing over St. George Island, FL, at the same time. In other words, no one else is on the island, and there aren’t many places to go for refuge.
None of the five people knew each other before this night, but their conversations are one of the book’s most endearing aspects. Whether they’re tersely discussing their current situation or talking about how much they want a burger and fries, these characters feel real, and this is to the author’s credit.
Of course, Evil Eye wouldn’t be a slasher if it didn’t have some gore. The murders are ruthless, and they’re supposed to be. When combined with the vivid characterizations, they’ll stick with you long after you’ve finished the book.
Evil Eye will be released on August 3. Pre-order now.