Graham Masterton writes horror, and he does this very well. Death Mask is the latest in a long line of his books that I've read and enjoyed, I'll tell you why below.
The story starts with Molly, a painter who has her mother in-law Sissy staying with her, paints a rose that appears in the garden as a real flower. Sissy is a clairvoyant, and readings on her De Vane cards show signs of lots of bloody deaths that will be happening soon. The cards aren't wrong and it isn't long before a man with a red face starts to kill people in the Giley building in Cincinnati and it seems he can disappear just as quickly as he appears. He rushes into open elevators within the building and stabs people to death with two triangular shaped cleavers.
An open minded detective allows Molly and Sissy to help with the case in order to track down the red faced murderer. It turns out that it is Molly who is responsible for creating the murderer, the image is from a childhood memory of a roadside advertising mannequin that has remained in her subconscious. Once they've worked this out, are they able to destroy the creation before the death toll rises?
For a storyline which at first seems very far fetched, I thought that Mr Masterton had done a good job of making the unbelievable believable. This is a skill which I feel puts the Master into Masterton, there aren't many authors who write in Masterton's genre who do this as good as he does.
I liked the concept of the story, but have a niggling suspicion that this has been made into a film although I haven't been able to find out. If it hasn't been made into one, then perhaps it should as I feel the concept would work well. I liked the use of the De Vane cards, whose use sounds similar to that of Tarot cards, as it helped give another dimension to the suspense he created as I was looking forward to getting more clues each time Sissy used the cards which was helping me guess what would happen next in the story.
I enjoyed this, but not quite to the extent where I could award five stars, so instead it gets from me a very strong four out of five. If you like good horror with a twist of the supernatural, you might enjoy it too.
Available on Amazon for £2.96 "new condition" second hand