The fact that King’s second collaboration with Peter Straub is a sequel to their fantasy epic The Talisman is not immediately obvious. Nor does it have to be; Black House is a hypnotic and often gruelling read but with numerous moments of sheer magic even before we realize that Jack Sawyer, the main character in The Talisman, lives in the same small town as the murderous “Fisherman”.

As the story moves ever further from “realism”, the links to the Dark Tower become apparent, but Black House works as a stand-alone story as well. The narrative style in the beginning of the book is almost unique, and deeply effective.