Black Light is a Sure Success

black light

Black Light
Patrick Melton,
Marcus Dunstan &
Stephen Romano
Mulholland Books
Hardcover 10/05/2011
ISBN 9780316196710
327 pages

The debut novel from writers of the Saw franchise.

Official Blurb
If you have a supernatural problem that won’t go away, you need Buck Carlsbad: private eye, exorcist, and last resort.

Buck’s got a way with spirits that no one else can match. He was normal, once. Until Something Horrible killed his parents and left him for dead.

Buck has spent years using his gift to trace his family. It’s his only hope of finding out what happened to them–and what made him the way he is.

Now the voices say that something big is coming. Buck already knows what it is–a super high-tech bullet train running express across a stretch of unforgiving desert known for the most deadly paranormal events in history. A place where Buck almost died a few years ago, and where he swore he would never return.

But as the train prepares to rumble down the tracks, Buck knows it can only be the inevitable hand of fate pulling him back to the most harrowing unfinished case of his career at four hundred miles per hour.

About The Authors
Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan have written the screenplays for Saw IV, Saw V, Saw VI, Saw 3D, and The Collector, which Dunstan also directed. Currently, they are filming The Collector 2, and writing a remake of The Outer Limits for MGM. Stephen Romano is an acclaimed author, screenwriter and illustrator (having written for Showtime’s Emmy-winning original series Masters Of Horror).

The Review
My first thought when I asked myself how to describe Black Light was “Stephen King unfettered,” then I thought of one of Robert McCammon’s lesser known works, Mystery Walk, a tale of good and evil, with the hero cast as a medium destined to meet pure evil in the desert.

The previous descriptions are good places to begin, but they don’t do Black Light justice. This is a book based on a premise I’ve never encountered before. That premise is a unique vision of the underworld: “The place where all souls that ever lived and loved and fought and died had gone to rest… ” They become residents of a plane of existence Buck Carlsbad refers to as the Black Light: a place so bright and clear that you can see everything that has ever happened to a person or to a home throughout its life(by way of an example); “it’s amazing and overwhelming and brighter than a million suns,” and it will literally boil your eyes right out of your head unless you have the proper equipment to protect you.

There are other levels: the further you go down, the darker it gets, until you reach The Big Black. “It might be where they all go, in the end. Might be heaven and hell, all rolled up into one endless stretch of nowhere.”

Buck’s job is to capture spirits who try to come back–as spirits on the down-low, as pissed off poltergeists or by way of possession. In any case, Buck must use a black hole that lives inside him. He calls it the “pull,” because when he gets close enough to a “mark,” whatever kind of spirit it is that has broken through from level 2 (the black light)to level 1 (the land of the living) is pulled into Buck, where it fights like crazy to get out, while Buck digests the thing. Then, once the spirit is under control, or put down, Buck must get rid of it. [Did I mention that Buck is obsessed with the Black Light and has found a way to use his marks to get there?] Anyway, he uses a frightening, home-made mixture that guarantees he’ll puke the spirit(s) up and into the waiting silver urn. Buck then buries the expensive urn in a graveyard on a large lot he owns. The spirits either go back to the black light or they’ll be forever trapped in the urn. Buck uses silver because a copper urn just won’t hold them.

Okay, you have the premise. You know what Buck does and how he does it–when things go right. You’ll have to pick up a copy of Black Light to find out what Buck does when things go horribly, unbelievably wrong.

Black Light is an accessible and unique straight-to-the-top thriller. Fans are sure to want more.

Copyright, Clayton Clifford Bye, 2011