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Lebbon, Tim.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco, CA : Night Shade Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
246 pages ; 23 cm

Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A family picks up a hitchhiker in the worst blizzard in living memory. It's a mistake. Brand is not who he seems, to the mother, the father or the daughter. He is something more, something they fear in their own ways, and soon after the thaw they are all seeing him again. They begin to learn things about themselves, and each other, which perhaps would be best left unknown. And they begin to realise other, more painful truths ... love blinds . Fear distorts . Hate misleads.

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Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Returning from vacation in a blizzard, Dan and Megan Powell and their daughter, Nikki, spot a hitchhiker on the side of the road. They pick him up, but when he begins acting strangely and asking for a "moment of their time," Megan is frightened and insists that he leave the car. The family drives away but hasn't seen the last of the man, who calls himself Brand. Nikki, who was entranced by the stranger, sees him in the woods outside her window, at the hall where her band practices, and even at her school. Megan, still haunted by a brutal attack that occurred years ago, is certain Brand is stalking her, using supernatural means. Dan encounters him in a bar and, convinced that Brand is threatening his family, beats him up. Yet Brand continues to appear to each member of the family, bringing out their fears and desires. Lebbon gradually, deftly builds the tension until it explodes in an exciting climax. Chilling, exciting reading for horror buffs. --Kristine Huntley

Publisher's Weekly Review

In his first U.S. novel, which deals with the common modern horror theme of the intrusion of the Other, British Fantasy Award winner Lebbon introduces an enigmatic and menacing stranger named Brand into a small British family that encounters him hitchhiking in the countryside during a blizzard and offers him a ride. "I only want a moment of your time," he informs them, yet in the brief interval before they expel him he manages to attack each of them at their weakest spots. They are all at moments of transition in their lives the mother, Megan, recovering from a mugging through a fervent embrace of religion; the father, Dan, feeling inadequate in his inability to protect his family; and Nikki, the teenage daughter, whose rebelliousness and sexual obsession with Brand fuel the anxieties of both of her parents. Brand expertly manipulates their weaknesses, appearing to each in the manner most likely to deceive and isolate them. The supernaturalism of the novel is subtle, making Brand's role as the satanic persecutor in this retelling of the Book of Job all the more unsettling: Megan's frantic query "But why us?" is answered, "If God won't tell you the truth, I will: because. Just because. Just because bad things happen to good people." The ultimate question is whether his deceptions and lies will prevail, or if the love that Dan, Megan and Nikki share despite all their anxieties and self-doubts will pull them through. Some may dislike the ambiguity of his approach, but Lebbon's novel will reward the careful reader with insights as well as gooseflesh. (Jan.) FYI: Lebbon's latest story collection is As the Sun Goes Down (Forecasts, Apr. 2). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved