Readers of Riley Sager and Grady Hendrix will be enthralled by Journalist Josh Winning’s ‘Burn the Negative’, an incendiary mash-up of horror and suspense, where a notorious slasher film is remade…and the curse that haunted it is reawakened.
Arriving in L.A. to visit the set of a new streaming horror series, journalist Laura Warren witnesses a man jumping from a bridge, landing right behind her car. Here we go, she thinks. It’s started. Because the series she’s reporting on is a remake of a ’90s horror flick. A cursed ’90s horror flick, which she starred in as a child—and has been running from her whole life.
In ‘The Guesthouse’, Laura played the little girl with the terrifying gift to tell people how the Needle Man would kill them. When eight of the cast and crew died in ways that eerily mirrored the movie’s on-screen deaths, the film became a cult classic—and ruined her life. Leaving it behind, Laura changed her name and her accent, dyed her hair, and moved across the Atlantic. But some scripts don’t want to stay buried.
Now, as the body count rises again, Laura finds herself on the run with her aspiring actress sister and a jaded psychic, hoping to end the curse once and for all—and to stay out of the Needle Man’s lethal reach.
The inspiration behind Winning’s second novel came from his own experience: “The idea for ‘Burn the Negative’ came from a press trip I went on in 2013, when I met Lorraine Warren. She was the paranormal investigator famous for cases such as the Amityville horror and was portrayed by Vera Farmiga in ‘The Conjuring’ movies. I found Ms. Warren so fascinating (yes, I got a photo taken with her) that I resolved to write a book about a paranormal investigator one day, and that’s how the character of Beverly came about. I decided to pair her up with a journalist (write what you know!) to solve creepy crimes, and ‘Burn the Negative’ was born. Having been lucky enough to visit numerous movie and TV sets as a journalist (including ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Muppets Most Wanted’, ‘Vikings’, ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ and ‘300: Rise of an Empire’), I have found that the making of movies is often as fascinating as the movies themselves. That is why I enjoy writing novels about what happens behind the scenes, in those snatched, surreal moments before the cameras roll.”
Brilliantly constructed and smoothly written, ‘Burn the Negative’ is surprising, satisfying, and endlessly fun, the kind of intelligent escapism readers need today. Fans of classic horror and slasher films, Stephen Graham Jones and Alma Katsu will delight at the details and allusions threaded through this novel.
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