I’m still making my way through a collection of vintage paperbacks I bought a few weeks ago, which included several delightful finds, including Bruce Fergusson’s The Mace of Souls and John Deakins’s Barrow. But it was neither of those that caused me to pull the trigger on the online auction. It was the 1989 Ballantine paperback of Robert R. McCammon’s fifth novel, Mystery Walk.
I read McCammon’s 1991 novel Boy’s Life (which Bob Byrne reviewed for us here), and I loved it. It won both the Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Awards, and deservedly so. But I never went back and read any of McCammon’s earlier horror novels, including The Night Boat (1980), They Thirst (1981), or the Stoker and World Fantasy Award nominee Swan Song (1987). Or Mystery Walk, the first of McCammon’s novels to be published in hardcover.
Yeah, I know. That was an oversight. I’m trying to rectify it now. And in particular, I’m enjoying tracking down the 80s paperback editions, with their delightfully macabre covers. They’re not expensive, or particularly hard to find, and they also pack a fine dose of 80s nostalgia, especially for anyone who used to hang around the horror section at the supermarket rack.
Mystery Walk was published by Ballantine Books in October 1989. It is 419 pages, priced at $4.95. The cover is by J. Thiessen. It has been reprinted multiple times, most recently in trade paperback by Pocket Books in 2010. It is still in print.