The Hymn by Graham Masterton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review: THE HYMN by Graham Masterton
Once again, Mr. Masterton delivers plotting so taut, interwoven with a strong historical background and lesser-known religious traditions. In THE DEVIL IN GRAY, he worked with the American Civil War, specifically the tragic Battle of the Wilderness, near the Confederate Capital at Richmond, Virginia; and with the slavery religion of Santeria. In THE HYMN, formerly published as THE BURNING, he reinstates the Nazi concept of "master race" and racial purity. Then he brings in 19th century operatic composer Richard Wagner, and millennia-old pagan traditions, specifically of the Norse Vikings. This strums chords of elitism and eugenics, reminding that though the Reich ended drastically, the underpinnings of its thought continue, sometimes where least expected.
Of course, because this is a Graham Masterton horror novel, there is also a continuing chord of graphic violence, visceral, explicit, and hair-raising, and the innocent are not exempted. But I found the background rationale--that implacable, no-matter-what-cost, drive to create the Master Race, the superior immortals--far more terrifying than the violent deaths in its cause. There is little more terrifying than fanaticism.
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