Written by: Vitina Molgaard
While reading this book another piece sprang to mind, Stephen Vincent Benet’s well-recognized, “The Devil and Daniel Webster.” If you have never read that book I would like to recommend that you do so: it’s an enticing tale in which we find a farmer in need of defense from a fictionalized version of Mr Daniel Webster. Poor deals with the Devil can lead to some required assistance. That is not where this specific adventure is going to take us; it was ust a thought that came to mind while traveling through the pages of the novel before me.
In The Man With The Blue Hat we find that during the night something strange has happened in the small town of Breckenridge. Upon awakening somehow things have shifted, leaving our characters out of sorts; no one has any memory of what has taken place, no one has answers as to what has left their lives so suddenly askew. Soon insomnia has taken a firm foothold on all the residents of this small community. Along with the inability to sleep, paranoia has begun to eat away at all the neighbors, and a series of events leading up to murder and mayhem unravel steadily… turning friends against friends, destroying once peaceful and loving families.
Beth, a divorced single mother of one daughter, Kirsten, has always seemed to live the perfect life. Lately though things have began to feel like they are falling apart. She’s started having bizarre cruel thoughts about her daughter and friends. Soon we discover she is not the only one with these types of issues. One night while Beth is upstairs occupied she hears a loud pounding at her front door. Before she can intervene, Kirsten answers. From here on our story begins to twist in many unexpected ways. The child withdraws from her mother and begins to communicate with her favorite doll.
I would be remiss to not mention the difficult ex husband and his much younger girlfriend.After a visit from The Man With the Blue Hat, Beth is subjected to some interesting occurrences. Soon she becomes a scapegoat for all happenings. It is not long before we meet Baphomet, a shrunken head with a mind of its own (pun intended). This is a character in little need of introduction, it’s best to get to know this one on your own .The resolution as to why a new strange visitor to town segues to imminent death and destruction serves as the ultimate crux of Beth’s past. It is at this junction that I leave you to discover the who, what and why’s of this mysterious story.
I enjoyed this book with a delightful pleasure.The level of horror is moderate in regards to gore and visceral violence, but that general ommission is made up for with the complexities of the characters and their motivations .These are people who are easy to find pleasant and repugnant at the same time. The flaws of human nature are freely expressed within these pages.As such I found myself engulfed in the inhumanity of mankind .
At the end of the day my rating is not as high as it could have been, but it’s solid, just as this novel is. There is an unresolved issue concerning a noteworthy conflict, in my opinion, regarding Baphomet and his nature, and that ruffled my feathers a tad. I also found the writing – at times – to be long winded (a la some of Stephen King’s recent works) and wordy. Over all however, I certainly recommend this book. It is definitely worth invested reading time, and it may just strike as a revisitable piece of work .
Grab your copy of The Man rith the Blue Hat right here.