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Sineater

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Overview

The sineater is a mysterious, terrifying figure of the night, condemned to live alone in the mountains. He comes out only when a death occurs in the small community of Beacon Cove. As mourners at the wake turn to face the wall, the sineater enters to eat food off the chest of the dead, thus taking on the sins of the departed and cleansing the soul to enter heaven. The sineater has a family, yet even they must be asleep on the rare occasions he comes home for a midnight meal. The elder son, Curry, works as an oak ...
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Sineater

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Overview

The sineater is a mysterious, terrifying figure of the night, condemned to live alone in the mountains. He comes out only when a death occurs in the small community of Beacon Cove. As mourners at the wake turn to face the wall, the sineater enters to eat food off the chest of the dead, thus taking on the sins of the departed and cleansing the soul to enter heaven. The sineater has a family, yet even they must be asleep on the rare occasions he comes home for a midnight meal. The elder son, Curry, works as an oak weaver and prepares himself for life as the sineater when his father dies. Joel, the younger son, attends the community school but is either ignored or taunted by the other students.
A rash of violent crimes and murders rock Beacon Cove. The religious leadership announces that the sineater, overburdened with sins he has consumed, has become the embodiment of the devil. They must forbid him from attending wakes and do all they can to protect themselves from his evil. However, when troubled young Burke Campbell moves to Beacon Cove, he challenges the community's superstitions and fears and forces Joel to face the reality of who he is...and who his father is.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Winner of England's Bram Stoker Award, Massie's first novel works better as a convincing and original story about the potential horrors of backwoods religious fervor than as a traditional supernatural thriller. Young Joel Barker lives with a special stigma: his father, Avery, is the ``sineater,'' chosen by their Blue Ridge Mountain religious sect to live alone in the woods and bear the sins of the community's dead. Though Joel is universally ostracized, Burke Campbell, the nephew of the sect's leader, Missy Campbell, befriends him in defiance of his aunt, whose mumbo jumbo he despises. When death and mutilation begin to be visited on anyone who has dealings with Joel's family, Missy blames the sineater and mounts a crusade against him and his kin. The two boys set out to stop the sineater and to end the religious madness that is sweeping the town, only to discover that they may be seeking the wrong enemy. Massie's sharp observations and eye for detail bring her characters to life and lend credence to the unfamiliar setting and bizarre plot. But so much is invested in setting the stage that the story line fails to gain momentum; though it's well-organized and the pivotal scenes are gripping, it never takes off in the same way as some other horror novels about rural religious terror, such as Thomas Tryon's Harvest Home or Robert R. McCammon's Mystery Walk . Massie's evident talent puts this well ahead of many other would-be literary debuts but, ironically, horror fans may find that it packs less terror than the average thriller. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937530570
  • Publisher: Crossroad Press
  • Publication date: 9/22/2013
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2005

    One Of The Only

    I Don't Read Too Many Books At All. Not Many Can Keep My Interest Or Attention, But I Read Sineater In Only A Couple Of Sittings And Read IT Twice Since. I Loved This Book Very Much

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2000

    Strong characters, suspensful.

    Elizabeth Massie accurately depicts rural Virginia. She makes you believe in the characters, never takes the easy way out. She portrays a complex religious situation with gravity and a keen eye. The plot starts out slow, but by the end is extremely suspensful. I love being surprised by a book and I rarely am these days. This one's a keeper.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2000

    Both scary and moving at the same time!

    This book had all the scares I look for in a horror novel, but it also had very human characters I really cared about. Joel, the main character, is a boy who has deal with the stigma of being the son of the 'Sineater.' The sineater is a rejected, feared outcast who is considered too full of evil to even look at. But Joel, with the help of Burke, the fiesty new kid to the isolated mountain community, decides to find out for himself who he is, where he comes from, and whether those who hold power over others are always right. A great read that I recommend highly!!! This won a Bram Stoker Award, and I'm not surprised!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    GREAT HORROR READ!!!

    I was pleasantly surprised with this book! I had never heard of the author, but figured if she had won the Stoker award, I had to give her a chance.

    The story started with a good creepy feel, but then slowed a little. Then, about a third of the way in, it picked up. When it did, I was hooked. It proceeded to speed up in all directions, and became as much mystery as horror! What a GREAT read! I will definitely be checking out more from Ms. Massie. Can't wait to see what else she has in that great mind of hers.

    Thanx Ms. Massie for a night without sleep!

    -- SPeeD

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2011

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