With the release of the ‘Horns‘ feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe, it now proves to be the perfect time to look back on the source material.

‘Horns’ is a murder-mystery about the life and struggle Ignatius ‘Ig’ Perrish, a young man whose girlfriend was raped and murdered almost a year ago. Now, as the eve of her death approaches, Ig finds himself questioning the family and friends closest to him. Mainly his brother, Terry, and childhood best friend, Lee, who both have possible ties into the murder. His entire life is complicated by the sudden appearance of actual horns protruding from his skull. These new bits on his head give him the ability to influence others to a degree. This, of course, proves perfect for digging into the shrouded events surrounding his girlfriend’s demise.

Almost *too* perfect, actually.

For the first third of the novel, ‘Horns’ is a gripping mystery with a supernatural twist and stylish prose one expects from an author of this caliber. Unfortunately, events tend to deteriorate after the first act with a series of complicated flashbacks which tend to drag affairs out. Coupled with the basic fact that the actual mystery has already been solved makes some parts seem mere padding. The horror aspects of the story do remain top-notch and the compelling, if thoroughly unwholesome, characters are the most gripping aspect.

It will be interesting to see how the film handles the order in which the story is told, as honestly, that one wrinkle is what manages to drag down most of a (quite good) book. If it is otherwise organized, it could prove quite the Halloween treat.

As the book stands, it is a read truly meant for the biggest of horror aficionados.

Publication Date: Feb 6th, 2010 Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Count: 370 ISBN: 978-0-06-114795-1