Have we reached the point where reality and horror fiction have become too close for comfort? The premise of Christopher Golden’s new book Red Hands is eerily resonant: A novel bio-pathogen is released upon a small American town and turmoil ensues. The book, which features classic horror elements — shambling corpses, an ancient evil unleashed — is either creepily satisfying or a trigger for your worst nightmare ... Tautly written, Red Hands excels not just because of its scare factor (which is high), but also its humane depiction of grief, isolation and fear, growing mistrust of government and even one’s own neighbors. This potent novel’s most haunting image isn’t so much the gruesome infection generated by a touch, but of loved ones pressing their hands against opposite sides of a glass wall, longing for connection.
This is a pivot in the series—Walker is on American soil, working with a different team, and fighting an ancient contagion the government resurrected on purpose—but the way the story unfolds is true to form. The neck-whipping action and shifting points of view give the reader a wide-angle perspective on the complicated, terrifying situation, invoking maximum terror on every page. Golden also leaves room for his diverse cast of characters to develop and inhabit the story fully, adding in an uncomfortable sense that this fictional tale is not too far from reality. For fans of horror-thriller series like those by Jonathan Maberry and Mira Grant.
Red Hands is a high-adrenaline read that in the hands of Christopher Golden is able to rise above B-movie horror traps and ends up becoming an epic thrill-ride of a story with a few nice surprises thrown in for good measure.