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The Croning - Laird Barron I don't buy many books soon after they come out but Barron is one of those I do, being one of my favourite contemporary horror authors. I approached this with mixed feelings of excitement and trepidation, uneasy at how well Barron would adapt to writing a novel. I need not have worried.

Barron draws together, and more thoroughly elaborates on, themes he has touched upon in previous stories to deliver a more complete vision of overarching cosmic horror permeating every facet of our world and yet somehow managing to remain just out of sight for the majority. Our protagonist Doug Miller manages to remain in the dark, despite the entanglements of many of his friends and family due to his occasional memory loss but now events are going to come to head once again and he is due for a renewed bout of clarity.

At times, the build up felt somewhat slow and belaboured with the detailed descriptions of the branches of his extended family, colleagues and acquaintances but in retrospect, much of this was probably necessary for laying the groundwork for what was to come. No doubt I would benefit from a second reading in which I would find clues and indicators as to the nature of the cosmic conspiracy that I simply didn't realise the significance of the first time around.

Barron did not disappoint with his d├ębut novel that was superbly well crafted and left me ruminating on its haunting implications that will, no doubt, rattle around my mind for some time to come.