It’s a great time for horror. My to-be-read list is as tall as the Dark Tower and I’ll never reach the top of it in this lifetime. But In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson is one story I’m very pleased to have experienced.
The book is about vampires, though Andy never once mentions the word vampire in the story, which I know was a conscious choice on his part, and one I happen to agree with in this particular instance.
But moreover, the story is about people and the pain they suffer, usually by someone else’s hand. It’s about a lonely, broken man named Travis Stillwell and his search for something he lost a long time ago. It’s something he hopes to find again with a sad widow, Annabelle Gaskin, and her son, Sandy.
In the Valley of the Sun is a beautifully told tale of loss and longing, hope and regret, and a reminder that the worst monsters don’t always lurk in the closet or under the bed. Sometimes they’re the people we love. Sometimes they are us.
I highly recommend this novel by the exceptionally talented Andy Davidson.