One solid reason why I hate Stephen King is that he can’t seem to write no-nonsense, straight forward, to the point, pure horror stories. King evoked an eerie atmosphere in Salem’s Lot only to spoil the mood with section titles like Prince of Ice Creams. He stretched The Dark Tower series to the crack of doom just to screw it up with a lame ending. But of course, he is the “Sartre” of horror literature and most readers of the genre devour Stephenesque brand of spooky stuff. It’s a pity because books like Cujo and Dead Zone are not really horror though they overshadow outstanding works like Drums of the Dark Gods — an out of print black magic novel written by W.A Ballinger.
A story not for the faint hearted:
You read the first few pages and sit bolt upright. You feel voodoo all around you. You sense diabolical corruption and bloodbath.
It starts with a naked girl roped to ground, violated, and gruesomely sacrificed to voodoo gods in the jungles of Haiti. Her beating heart is ripped out of her chest. The girl is actually a Scotland Yard narcotics officer investigating a drug operation in Haiti. To dig into her murder case, Richard Quintain — a fraud investigating officer having prior experience with the occult — appears on the scene with his secretary Julia Wellsley.
Richard, with the help of Julia,. desperately tries to stop a terrifying voodoo plot. They infiltrate secret cells of Satanists but get trapped and encounter supernatural forces that threaten destroy them and change the future of mankind. The story involves an international drug racket as well.
A hell ride that freaks you out:
If print can shake your fundamentals, this book will. You start believing in the nightmarish Gorga — the voodoo high priest. You end up having delusions of Richard drinking blood out of a pitcher. You fail to wipe out memories of the dreaded secret police of Haiti.
Why won’t Stephen King write something like Drums of the Dark Gods? If Ballinger can make us nervous, King can scare us shitless. We have had our share of melodrama. Let someone bring back raw, naked horror.
Long live Drums of the Dark Gods.