Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 978-161922-908-2
Frazer Lee’s The Leper Window can’t stand alone much as a horror story in its own. I have not read any of the author’s previous story that featured Daniel Gates, and this one takes off shortly after the previous story ended. Without any prior knowledge of the previous story, I read this with an additional handicap to my enjoyment: I have no clue who these people are, what that mysterious book is for, what they are doing, and why I should care.
Daniel Gates is… some kind of private investigatory, I guess? Sort of like Harry D’Amour? Anyway, he found some kind of book in the previous story, and now a page is missing. The enemy seems to be someone he has bumped into in the past, and they are all mysterious and sinister for some damned reason, and then the book is missing, and then it’s found, and there’s the obligatory closure scene that is all about the “Boo! Scared ya!” moment that is quite played out by now.
I know, you are probably wondering why I don’t that previous story, read it first anyway, and then only read this book. Here’s the thing: this story may be competent and I suspect that readers who like the previous story may like this one as well, but I personally am not compelled to run out and pick that story. The Leper Window doesn’t sell me Daniel Gates or his adventures – this story is so threadbare when it comes to giving me some background information that it is only when I go online and do some research do I find out some – some, not much – details to fill in the blanks.
So, if you’re like me, new to the whole thing, I really suggest you start at the beginning first. Me, I wouldn’t mind seeing Daniel Gates in a longer story – maybe I can give him a fair shake then.