Author: Chuck Wendig
Publisher: Angry Robot books:
Release date: 6 Sept 2012
Page Count: 335pp
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
This second outing for Miriam Black (last seen in Blackbird) finds Miriam working in a New Jersey seaside resort supermarket, fed up with her job and the constraints of life with Louis in a trailer park, when she ‘sees’ the death of her boss and a number of customers at the hands of a serial killer. Because Miriam Black touches a person’s skin and sees the exact moment and method of their death in full flashback colour. Pardon the pun, but she can make a killing from her ‘gift’ if she sees the death of a person with money, follows them to their point of death and runs off with their cash and credit cards.
But Miriam is trying to go straight, which is why she is there at the supermarket, having just been sacked, three minutes before all hell breaks loose. Trying to help her, Louise arranges a reading with a teacher, Katey, who thinks she is dying. It is at the school for delinquents where Katey works, that Miriam accidentally touches young Lauren, who is doomed to die at the age of eighteen at the hands of a brutal killer. Only Lauren isn’t the only future victim, and Miriam becomes intent on saving them all and finding the killer.
Bursting with black comedy, and social commentary, Mockingbird is a tour-de-force of horror fantasy. Miriam, as always, is a strong and compelling lead character and through Katey’s voice, Wendig pursues interesting debates about women’s place in society. This is an excellent book, with plenty of character interaction, brutal murders and laughs aplenty despite the grim material. Wendig never fails to deliver. He is a name to be watched.