Over the past 12 months we have seen a big resurgence in slasher themed novels. Whether it is Stephen Graham Jones’ My Heart is a Chainsaw or Grady Hendrix’ The Final Girls Support Group, and Clown in a Cornfield, fits right into the positive category.
While I found …Chainsaw a bit difficult to get into, a really enjoyed Final Girls…, and Adam Cesare’s novel feels like a throwback in the sense of narrative structure but with modern characters.
We follow Quinn, a teenage girl who has just moved to a small rural town with her father, following the death of her mother. Cesare allows us to spend significant time with Quinn and the teenagers from the local high school before the bloodshed begins.
Cesare is clearly a fan of the slasher format, and has studied it so he is able to reinterpret different tropes and also throw in some surprises for good measure.
Having a killer in a clown costume is also a smart move in a post IT remake world, although ‘Frendo’ here isn’t quite the talker Pennywise is.
Clown in a Cornfield is also a gory rollercoaster ride and has plenty of twists to keep readers guessing.
I was delighted to hear a sequel is on the way in August – because these days you gotta have a sequel!
Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare is available now.