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Night Relics Hardcover – March 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover; 1st edition (March 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441000223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441000227
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,428,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Blaylock's characters are subjected to the visitations of unquiet spirits and otherwise frightening events in this good but uneven first ghost-story offering from this award-winning fantasy novelist ( Lord Kelvin's Machine ). Seventy years ago in southwest California, Dr. Landry killed his wife's lover when he found them together; she then flung herself and her illegitimate son over a nearby cliff. Dr. Landry disappeared. Unaware of the bloody murder, architectural draftsman Peter Travers now lives in the Landrys' old cabin. When his ex-wife Amanda and their son David disappear just before the two are to go on a vacation to Hawaii, Travers's anguish is exacerbated by the appearance of ghostly apparitions, some of whom seem to be Amanda and David, while others are the figures of those involved in the earlier tragedy. Also plagued by spectral visitations are Lance Klein, a real estate developer with a shady past and Bernard Pomeroy, a deeply disturbed salesman with an eye for blackmail. While the tale is marked by good prose, believable dialogue and fine description, the plot soon wears thin. Travers's search for Amanda and David is almost totally eclipsed by the machinations of Pomeroy and his interplay with Klein, and the ghostly visions never produce the frisson of horror that this genre requires.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A ghostly wind blows across the valleys of Southern California, scattering pieces of a long-forgotten story of murder and revenge across the lives of a group of people whose own struggles resonate to the tale's dark music. The author of The Paper Grail (Ace: Berkeley, 1992) invests a complex story of failed marriages and shady business deals with mythic overtones as elusive as the eerie wind that forms the primary motif of this hauntingly moody novel. Gracefully written and splendidly told, this is a strong candidate for fantasy and general fiction collections.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on February 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is unlike most of the stuff that Blaylock has written already so if you're expecting the same old stories, get ready for something a bit different. He tackles ghost stories this time out and while the themes are nearly the same as always, basically normal everyday people trying to cope with the extraordinary (or just plain weird) and as usual set in California. But it gets waaayy different from there, for the first time things are really frightening, this is the darkest book he might have ever written. And his characters feel more real for once, mostly gone are the likable but quirky folks who populate his other books, here everyone is just like you and me, they have their flaws and benefits just the same as anyone else. And I don't think he's ever written a character as odious as Pomeroy, he's quite the convincing psychopath. As for the ghost part, well that's not all that clear but then it's a ghost story it's not supposed to make perfect sense. What counts here is the atmosphere and the pages are dripping with wind and dark and the nighttime and all the horrors that it brings. Not really scary but certainly gets you into the novel and helps you live in the character's world. In essence this is the most "mature" book he's ever done, tackling more serious subjects of relationships (both starting and ending them), abnormal psyches, sexuality, all the good stuff that's in the world the rest of us live in. In short this is the book that we may not have all been waiting for, but knew he was capable of doing all the same and I for one am not complaining.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dcl70 on March 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book had it's moments, but overall it was slow. There was just to much of Peter and his new girlfriend's son that didn't add much to the story. Also, the ending just made me go "what?"

I was VERY disappointed in the end. There was a great build up to the mystery, however nada was ever fully explained. None of the questions are really answered. I really wanted to know what happened to his ex-wife & son. How did they disappear??? I was just disappointed w/ this book & after the ending I donated book to local library.

The storyline w/ Pomeroy was the most interesting. He was a great character, however, we never learned about the Linda he mentioned. Someone he stalked before????

If you want to read this book go to your local library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Mintah on August 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I found Night Relics at a used book sale. The evocative title and the glowing moon on the cover greatly piqued my interest. Somehow, I just knew this would be a good story. And I was correct. Being from the Southwest, it was an extra delight to find the story is set in Southern California. People don't usually associate the desert with ghosts, but there you have it.

James Blaylock is an excellent writer. He weaves a tale by bringing the setting and characters to life. The story is about Peter, whose ex-wife and young son have mysteriously disappeared. The wife was leaving for Hawaii, and the police suggest she has run away in a custody dispute. The mystery is further compounded by the recurring appearance of a woman and a boy in the windy canyons of Trabuco Oaks, where Peter and his new girlfriend Susan like to hike. Susan has a young son of her own.

Susan has a fateful encounter with Pomeroy, a used-car salesman with illusions of his own grandeur. He becomes obsessed with Susan. Pomeroy has shady business dealings with Susan's next-door neighbor Klein. Klein wants Pomeroy out of the way; Pomeroy wants Susan. But everyone is touched by the strange apparitions, and things get out of control.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes a well-written mystery with a touch of the supernatural.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dcl70 on March 15, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book had it's moments, but overall it was slow. There was just to much of Peter and his new girlfriend's son that didn't add much to the story. Also, the ending just made me go "what?"

I was VERY disappointed in the end. There was a great build up to the mystery, however nada was ever fully explained. None of the questions are really answered. I really wanted to know what happened to his ex-wife & son. How did they disappear??? I was just so disappointed w/ this book & after the ending I donated book to local library.

The storyline w/ Pomeroy was the most interesting. He was a great character, however we never learned about the Linda he mentioned. Someone he stalked before????

If you want to read this book go to your local library.
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By Jodie D. Stoddard on February 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting characters, lingering past of the town that consumes the characters, and an ending that forces you to use your imagination.
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