Annal: 2004 Bram Stoker Award for First Novel

Results of the Bram Stoker Award in the year 2004.

Book:Covenant

Covenant

John Everson

Joe Kieran has found that unearthing the truth for a newspaper can be painful, and telling it, heartbreaking. Hiding from his past big city exposés in the quiet coastal town of Terrel, he stumbles upon a web of mysterious teen suicides that somehow connect a ring of five women. Is there really a malevolent presence inside Terrel Cliff that holds all of the town in thrall as Angelica, a fortune teller, suggests? Or is there a murderous covenant between five women to sacrifice their first-born? When Angelica is kidnapped right under his nose, Joe suspects that there is more at work in Terrel than a dark, tragic streak.

Deep beneath the remains of a long-demolished lighthouse on its tragic cliff, Joe discovers Terrel’s secret history and salvation. And in his desperate bid to save two women, he forges a new covenant, one that puts his own soul in deadly danger.

Book:Stained

Stained

Lee Thomas

A madman. A secret, generations old. Another missing boy. They called the sadistic killer The River Rat, and he’d struck again. In a desperate search for his neighbor’s son, Ted Lewis came face to face with the killer and survived, but his life was irrevocably altered. The residents of Marchand, Louisiana believed they were safe. The murderer had been captured and was behind bars. But the nightmare wasn’t over yet. Because on that summer night, something passed between the two men. Memories of brutality and phantoms of countless victims torment Ted. His normal life is shattered, and he struggles to fight a growing presence that threatens to leave his soul stained forever.

Book:Black Fire

Black Fire

James Kidman

A sparkling debut novel in which a man must confront the ghost of the father he killed seven years before.

Book:Move Under Ground

Move Under Ground: A Novel

Nick Mamatas

The time is the early 1960s. Jack Kerouac is hiding in his Big Sur shack and drinking off his latest nervous breakdown when he stumbles upon the rise of R’lyeh right off the shore of the Pacific. Jack must get back on the road to find his old friend, the holy fool Neal Cassady, whose cryptic letters suggest that he might be the key to saving the world from Cthulhu’s immense power. The duo, together with pistol-packin’ nerd William S. Burroughs, fight, drink, and love their way across the country to face down the cult that has spread its darkness to the heart of the American Dream. But is Neal along for the ride to save the world, or to help destroy it, just so that he’ll have an ending for his book?

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