A Mask of Flies

Tor Nightfire. Aug. 2024. 448p. ISBN 9781250889812. $28.99. HORROR
In Lyons’s (A Black and Endless Sky) latest, Anne is trying to make a clean getaway with a bag full of cash after her latest bank robbery goes awry. Escaping with only one of her accomplices and the cop she has taken hostage, Anne heads to an isolated cabin in the eerie San Luis Valley, CO, the last place she stayed with her mother, that fateful night when she was seven and something came out of the forest, chasing them to her mother’s death. Anne, a sympathetic criminal with a sad history, is just trying to survive, but there are forces hungry to find her, those who need her to do their bidding, assisted by an unstoppable creature, grotesquely crawling with flies and mimicking those closest to her. This visceral novel is filled with shoot-outs, body horror, and cults, and yet, ultimately it is a story defined by love and acceptance.
VERDICT Epic in scope and deeply steeped in its place, Lyons’s crime caper/horror hybrid will appeal to fans of titles like This Wretched Valley by Jenny Kiefer, The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias, and The Children of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie.
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