DRUMMER BOY, Scott Nicholson, www.hauntedcomputer.com, $2.99 eBook, $8.99 trade, 160 pages, reviewed by Barry Hunter.
It’s a shame that good, exceptional writers can’t get a contract out of the publishing houses in New York. I can think of several authors who have works circulating and are collecting rejection slips faster than first novel slush piles can produce. Scott has gone that extra step and is having a go at do it yourself and is backing up his enterprise with more well written looks into the Appalachian area he calls home.
These days’ horror writers are compared to Bentley Little, Dean Koontz and Stephen King in order to be published. Scott’s works compare favorably with them, but I compare him to Frank Belknap Long and the Silver John stories of Manly Wade Wellman. He has taken the atmosphere and pacing of Long and used the Appalachian backdrop and straight forward story telling of Wellman.
DRUMMER BOY is the story of the Civil War ghosts who have inhabited The Jangling Hole since their escape from Stoneman’s Calvary in 1864. It is also a story of how family and tradition still have a place in the 21st century.
The Jangling Hole is the local haunted spot and several boys have gathered there to get one of them to toss a rock into the cave. As he is waiting to do so, he hears the rat a tat of a drum. Mulatto Mountain is home to the Hole and is currently being bulldozed into a new land development. It is also time for the annual re-enactment of Kirk’s Raiders fighting Stoneman. There is plenty of oddness to move the story along and keep the pages turning.
Scott uses the Southern vernacular and the lifestyles of the small town to tell his story. It also mentions some of the events that took place in THE RED CHURCH to tie the two books together which should delight his long time readers.
Visit the website to pick up a copy. It is also available from Amazon.com and BN.com. Be sure to check out the website for other offerings as well.