Webster’s (Don’t Pull My Finger, 2015, etc.) horror novel tells of a phantom taking revenge for the massacre of Native American people in the American Southwest.
The novel begins with a brief introduction to a furious Cherokee ghost who describes himself as “the original Boogie Man.” Yellow Beard (or “YB,” as he’s frequently called in the text) seeks vengeance, and his plan is to target the bloodlines of everyone he deems responsible for the deaths of Cherokee people, including himself and his lady love, Tsalagi. It’s an enormous task, and this first series installment only tells a small part of the story. Over the course of the book, he hunts down and destroys seemingly unrelated victims in places all over the world, starting by slaughtering the little children of the Heidelberg family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Halloween night. The episodic tales go to such far-flung locales as Japan’s infamous “Suicide Forest” near Mount Fuji; Beverly Hills, California; and an unnamed small town that’s east of the Mississippi River—and in each, the outcome is always the same: Yellow Beard horrifically massacres ordinary people living ordinary lives, and they never really understand the reasons why. Webster tells the many ghostly stories in a chatty, informal voice and with a straightforward sincerity, and they’re fast-paced and full of action. However, the descriptions are often curiously bland, and the characters are flat and unengaging. The text itself is unpolished, with numerous, distracting typos throughout; the dialogue, for example, is inconsistent in its use of quotation marks, which frequently go missing: “You need to know one thing, said YB. You will die tonight! I will, however, give you a choice of dying slow or fast. It’s your choice.”
Awkward, underdeveloped horror fiction.