I have enjoyed Graham Masterton’s books for a long time now so I was happy to get an advance review copy of his upcoming novel “Drought.” Masterton typically brings a mix of “real world” and supernatural horror to his books and I was hoping to find more of the same in this new novel.
Martin Makepeace had seen too much violence in his lifetime and it had left him with his own demons to wrestle with. It had led to the destruction of his marriage as well as his decision to become a social worker and try to save some children from experiencing the evils of the world. San Bernadino is a harsh place to live at times, especially when there is no rain and the heat is almost unbearable. It is soon to become much harsher when the reality of drought hits home and neighborhoods find themselves without any water to slake their thirst while the town cooks in the summer heat.
Martin learns of the governor’s plan to use the drought and water rationing as a way of “cleansing” the state of those that he deems undesirable. To meet this end, the governor brings in the help of a private security service known for its questionable and violent actions to meet its ends. With riots breaking out across the state and his son falsely arrested for murder and rape, Martin joins with one of the families that he looks after in his role as a social worker to head toward a mythical lake that has remained undiscovered and could support them for a lifetime. Unfortunately, water has become more valuable than gold and the governor will stop at nothing to learn the location of the lake and become a savior to his thirsty constituents.
“Drought” is the second book in a row that I have read by Masterton and enjoyed quite a bit. While I have liked almost everything I have read from him, I thought at times that some of his books have wandered a bit in the middle but that was not the case with “Drought.” The story was kept tight, the prose is easy to read, and I was almost rocketed through the novel toward the end with a story that was full of action and always moving forward. I would consider this book to be more of a thriller than a horror novel but there are plenty of horror elements in the novel to appeal to fans of that genre.
Masterton has been somewhat overlooked in the past and I hope that “Drought” will help to put him on the map of authors in the horror genre that should be more highly exposed. Masterton has a strong grip on how to craft a horror/thriller novel and “Drought” is a good example of his skill. This is an easy to read novel that takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride through a world full of terror and action. This book is even strong in that the scenario is one that is easily envisioned as happening in the real world. If you have never read a Masterton novel before, this is a good place to start. If you are a fan of his work, then “Drought” is sure to please.
I would like to thank Severn House and NetGalley for this advance review copy. “Drought” is scheduled to be released by Severn House in August.