It's 2020. A really messed up year. There's a lot of uncertainty, fear, anguish. Yet I think most of us have much to be thankful for. Those who've remained free of infection and who still have homes. Things are bad, but they will get better.

I am grateful for many things. One of them is Bentley Little. I've been a fan all along, discovering his work in The Horror Show magazine. In 1990 I read Little's first published novel, The Revelation, and I loved it. And pretty much every year since then a new book has come forth, and I have enjoyed them all.

Of course I have my favorites. Some work better than others, but I am very happy to report that The Bank is one of Bentley Little's best books in a long time.

If you're a fan, you could probably recite the barebones plot by the title alone. Let's see, a sinister bank opens up under mysterious circumstances. Strange, bizarre occurrences begin to happen. The bank exerts control over the lives of people in its orbit. A bunch of really wild situations are depicted.

Bentley Little has published books that feature hated cultural institutions posing oppressive threats to individuality. A big box discount store. An insurance company. A homewner's association. A business consultant. Now we have The Bank.

Sometimes Little gets a bit too surreal for me. He stays closer to the ground in The Bank. In fact, the setup is like a classic piece of small town horror. The reader meets a well-drawn cast of citizens who are affected by the demonic influence of the First Peoples' Bank. The new bank has a strange, terrible hold on the town and various individuals must stop it.

I'm also deeply thankful to Cemetery Dance Publications, who have given Bentley Little a fine home for his work. He was once a paperback original author, but now his books are released in handsome, well-made hardcovers. As well as ebook and softbound editions.

If you like Bentley Little's particular brand of horror fiction, you are sure to enjoy The Bank. If his writing has disappointed you in the past, I urge you to give him another chance with it.

Written by Mark Sieber

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