Horns, by Joe Hill

Horns is a page-turner.  Most nights the only reason I stopped reading was because I had to make a choice between finding out what comes next and being useful at work in the morning.

The story concerns one Ignatius “Ig” Perrish, who wakes up one morning after an ill-remembered night of drinking to discover that he has grown horns overnight.  They look a bit like devil horns, and they hurt to touch.  He discovers the horns seem to have given him certain powers, too:  people can’t help but reveal their darkest secrets to him, and they don’t seem to remember talking to him.

Ig’s girlfriend Merrin died about a year ago, a horrific sex-murder; all the evidence seemed to point to Ig as the culprit, but he knows he didn’t do it.  The evidence conveniently vanished, and no one was ever convicted.  The townsfolk all assumed Ig’s rich parents bought off the justice system to protect the family name.

Now Ig has the power to learn the truth at last.  Who really killed Merrin?  Can he defeat the one man that seems immune to the horns’ power?  And will the horns cost him his soul… or is that already lost?

Joe Hill comes through with this story.  The tale of Ig and Merrin is intricately plotted, deliciously devious, nasty, tragic, and forceful.  When it comes to an end, you’ll want more.  (At least, I did.)

This was the first piece of fiction I read by Joe Hill.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for more of his work.

Horns, by Joe Hill