A dark avenger from the pages of a 1930s pulp magazine, Strange Thrills, materializes in the present day streets of Manhattan. This scourge of muggers and rapists is the Blue Valentine, dressed like Fred Astaire, gentleman vigilante.
But he is not the only character coming alive in modern New York, and not even his creator’s fertile imagination could have prefigured the carnage to come…
Valentine Dyson’s mysterious awakening from the yellowed pages of Strange Thrills coincides with a car smash that leaves his creator, Norbert Read, an old man now, in a coma. As a shadowy nemesis of evil, Valentine is infamous among pulp scholars for being the most vicious and amoral of all such cloaked avengers, but Norbert Read had abandoned his character after only a few stories.
The Blue Valentine first reveals his identity to a goodtime New Yorker, Avis, whom he saves from attack by a razor-wielding wino on the Bowery. In tuxedo and opera hat, a blue flower in his buttonhole, the shade of the gentleman crime fighter confirms to Avis that he is a ghost, returned because Manhattan has need of him again. Then the Blue Valentine drags the unconscious mugger into an alley to torture him to death.
Avis tracks down the one story Norbert Read wrote that survives in book form: ‘Big Thunder’, in the anthology Bedside Creeps. It does not feature Valentine Dyson. The story is about a small Western town of that name whose inhabitants trampled, at the expense of their lives, on the peace of the spirits that were there before. Big vengeance is in store.
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‘Morningstar offers a modern perspective on the vampire legend… the descriptions of the murders are breathtakingly foul – and Atkins manipulates the reader’s sympathy mercilessly’
A gentleman vigilante from the pages of a 1930’s pulp magazine materialises in present-day Manhattan ready to orchestrate a mass-murder that will at long last reconcile the living with the dead…
Valentine Dyson, characteristically dressed in a tuxedo and opera hat, a blue flower in his buttonhole, is infamous among pulp scholars for being the most vicious of the cloaked avengers featured in such magazines. His mysterious awakening from the yellowed pages of 'Strange Thrills' coincides with a car crash that leaves his creator, Norbert Read, an old man now, in a coma. A young woman, after being saved one night from the attack of a razor-wielding junkie by The Blue Valentine, is caught up in the dreadful unfolding of a supernatural apocalypse. As her friends and lovers are slaughtered, as her very dreams are invaded by portents of the terrors to come, Avis Llewellen finds herself standing alone against forces driven by an ancient and endless malevolence. Now – haunted by Dyson’s vision of a new world steeped in the blood and viscera of this world – Avis must follow him across America. To Hollywood and beyond. To places where dreams and nightmares collide.
PRAISE FOR PETER ATKINS’ FIRST NOVEL, 'MORNINGSTAR'
‘Establishes Atkins as a major 90’s genre voice… proceeds unstoppably to a truly visionary climax. A star is born with this daring dazzling debut’
JOHN MARTIN, 'Samhain'
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 000649014X