Review: The Burn Palace, Stephen Dobyns

The Burn Palace (review)

February 2013

The Burn Palace
Stephen Dobyns

  • Publisher: Blue Rider Press (February 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399160876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399160875

I had an advance copy of this novel for review purposes, and I must say I’m pleased to have been able to read it sooner than later. Because it was that good.

If you look up what information is available you may see this described as a horror novel. It is not. However, I can’t give you a cubbyhole to put it in, not even a pithy title x meets title y kind of description. So here are the basics: a small town in Rhode Island, a series of inexplicable and sometimes bizarre crimes and murders (some of the details are horrifying, but just briefly), and a healthy rumor mill that works overtime in order to come up with an explanation which will make the whole business less creepy. Because there are some creepy elements. So the stories of Satanists, baby cannibalism, orgies, Wicca excesses and shape shifters begin to make the rounds and evolve until you’ve got a town on the verge of a nervous breakdown. This is the framework of the story, the engine that keeps it going. Continue reading…