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Cold Moon Over Babylon

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,119 ratings  ·  307 reviews
Welcome to Babylon, a typical sleepy southern town, where years earlier the Larkin family suffered a terrible tragedy. Now they are about to endure another: fourteen-year-old Margaret Larkin will be robbed of her innocence and her life by a killer who is beyond the reach of the law.

But something strange is happening in Babylon: traffic lights flash an eerie blue, a ghostl
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by Valancourt Books (first published 1980)
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Carmilla Voiez 100%. The setting is gorgeous and richly observed, but the characters are two dimensional at best. And the baddies ... OMG! Am I the only horror lover…more100%. The setting is gorgeous and richly observed, but the characters are two dimensional at best. And the baddies ... OMG! Am I the only horror lover who finds the baddies in Cold Moon over Babylon ridiculous? They're like Laurel and Hardy caricatures.(less)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  2,119 ratings  ·  307 reviews

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Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-gothic
There's a killer on the loose in the small town of Babylon, Florida. He likes to use the Styx River to wash away his evidence.
But the Styx River is the source of a supernatural force.
And the more horrors committed by this killer, the stronger the supernatural becomes.
The innocent have been murdered ... the river wants atonement.
Michael McDowell has a story to tell ... lend him your ear. .

Cold Moon trailer
Looks like a B grade movie to me but a couple
Cold Moon Over Babylon by Michael McDowell is a 2015 by Valancourt Books publication. (Originally published in 1980

A Classic old-school ghost story!!

The Larkins, owners of a blueberry plantation, have been struggling to stay afloat for years. But their bad luck has turned to tragedy, when fourteen- year old Margaret disappears. Margaret’s grandmother is convinced that a rich, powerful local family has murdered her granddaughter. But the local sheriff is not convinced. Meanwhile, the Larkins ar
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: valancourt-books
4.5 stars!

Last year, I was finally able to get my hands on some Michael McDowell books and I loved them. A good friend of mine,( Tressa, that would be you!), had been recommending them for years, but they were all out of print and difficult to find. I was very excited when I discovered that Valancourt Books was bringing some of these novels back. And, BONUS! My excitement was well founded because this book, (and the others) was a blast!

Evil in a small town is one of my favorite themes, and if it
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Well now I need to watch the creepy movie!!

Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5. Another excellent read from Michael McDowell - true throwback slow-burn horror. At this point, I'm going to say his writing is easily superior to King. Review will be up next week! ...more
Cody | CodysBookshelf
What must be said about the late Michael McDowell is he had a pitch-perfect sense of pacing: his plotting is almost mechanical, built to achieve the greatest result. Cold Moon Over Babylon is a slow burn — my favorite kind of horror! — with hard, memorable scares thrown in.

What must also be said about McDowell is his sense of locale. Being from Alabama (and being quite familiar with the Florida-Alabama line, where this novel takes place), I can say the characters and the settings feel authentic;
Johann (jobis89)
Simply loved this book from start to finish. Definite contender for one of my favourites this year! And so early on in January!! Full review to come.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed

He imagined that he had been hypnotized by the moon, thrown into one of those trances that were common enough at night, on lonely stretches of road, to solitary drivers. “That’s it,” he whispered to himself, “I was led astray by the moon. But now the moon’s brought me home safe again . . .”

Holy moonlit blueberry bush! What a ride!

Cold Moon over Babylon is a horror story at its finest ... and at its most horrible. It is difficult to tell how much of what happens in the novel can be explained
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: valancourt
4.5 stars, rounded up.

Another incredible read from author Michael McDowell! A small town horror story that is truly horrific both in terms of what happens, and in the form that the vengeance takes...

The Larkin family has had a rough life from the day young Margaret and older brother, Jerry, lose their parents in a fishing "accident". They are then raised by their loving Grandmother, Evelyn, who struggles financially to make ends meet with their meager blueberry crop. Further tragedy strikes when
Horace Derwent
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
to bloom the most morbid beauty in the dark, to immerse the cruelest mayhem with enchantment

my fav mcdowell's

what's the name of the booktype that you read it on puter screen?

the strongest feel this book gives me is like the one when i was reading wuthering heights, it's weird and indescribable and i like it that way, i implore it

well, as for the paperback is quite pricy and remote, the version i have has 30 several pages in all, each page per screen, means thousands of w
LeAnne: GeezerMom
Mystery/ghost story that is nicely set in old, rural northwestern Florida's panhandle - a place I know personally and well. There really is a river named Styx, but it is farther west in Alabama. As for the fictional town named Babylon, my guess is that Bagdad, FL was the inspiration. I do not remember if there were any old wooden suspension bridges over the Blackwater River where Bagdad is located, but it would not surprise me. Babylon and Styx go together nicely, at any case.

The diction and lan
Janie C.
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Southern Gothic at it's absolute best. Excellent characterization and non-stop intrigue and suspense. I wish I'd heard of this author sooner, and I look forward to reading more of his work. ...more
Babylon, a small community in the Florida panhandle near the Styx River, is the setting of this superb example of Gothic horror. Evelyn Larkin lost her son and daughter-in-law several years ago to the Styx when the two ran their fishing boat into a nest of poisonous snakes leaving her alone to raise her two grandchildren, Jerry and Margaret. When Margaret goes missing, her body is later found stabbed and chained to her bicycle at the bottom of the Styx. Evelyn accuses a local banker, whom she ha ...more
Jon Recluse
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Something stirs in the swirling waters of the River Styx...

This tale of human evil and supernatural vengence is a perfectly paced blend of mystery and horror, flavored with McDowell's signature Southern Gothic style....the literary equivalent of a fine, dark and powerful.

Highly recommended.
Maxine Marsh

First things first, the opening sequence is killer. I mean, McDowell wastes no time scaring the crap out of you in gruesome fashion. After reading the opening I was very excited to read the rest of the book.

The story is part mystery and part haunting. McDowell is able to capture the violent scenes in brutal clarity and the haunting scenes in dreamlike detail. The moon itself becomes a character and I could just feel the terrifying claustrophobia of Nathan Redfield driving on those southern dark
Horace Derwent

i guess it's become my heirloom now
Chris Berko
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's already a billion reviews for this worded much more eloquently then I could ever manage but you don't need to bunch of flowery language to express how cool this book is. Revenge is best served cold and Cold Moon Over Babylon does just that. There's a bunch of small-town family drama before the scary stuff starts but at no point was this book slow or dull. Reading Michael McDowell is like getting a nice Porterhouse steak at McDonalds. You look around as you start eating thinking, "Why am ...more
Tom Mathews
When I read The Elementals last year I thought that it was my first experience with Michael McDowell's work. It wasn't until recently that I learned that his was the pen behind such classic movies as Beetlejuice and Nightmare Before Christmas. He also wrote episodes for many anthology series such as Tales from the Darkside, Amazing Stories, Tales from the Crypt, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. In short, McDowell played a significant role in shaping my love of dark fiction. In the golden age of ho ...more
Alex (The Bookubus)
4.5 stars

This is a captivating and evocative Southern gothic novel about a young girl who has been murdered and the supernatural revenge that follows.

This. Was. Excellent! The story is part mystery, part family drama, part small town with secrets. The dynamics and relationships between the people of Babylon and the way the story played out made for a real page-turner. His writing and storytelling are very compelling and his descriptions made me really visualise everything that was going on. Ther
Marianna Neal
Hmm... I don't know if Southern Gothic is my genre, so take this with a grain of salt. My experience with Cold Moon Over Babylon came down to really enjoying the atmosphere and writing style, but feeling pretty neutral on everything else. I liked the novel overall, but it wasn't anything that blew me away, though there were a few parts that really stood out.

I think fans of classic, slow-burn horror would really enjoy this one—the novel is something you would want to read on a gloomy day or rain
Melissa Chung
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This is the first book I've received in my Nocturnal Readers Box that was by and by a true horror read. I have been in dire need of a good horror book. I feel in love with this book in the first chapter and kept right on going. It is amazing how much "holy crap" moments I found while reading this story. At around the half way mark it went from murder mystery to ooey gooey ghostly awesomeness. It had the feel of Edgar Allen Poe and Allen Schwartz. It was simply a great horror read. 5 stars!!!

May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made my soul happy. This is one of my absolute favorite types of stories to read and I am smitten. It had everything I would hope for from a horror novel from the late 70s, early 80s. That time period was very special for horror novels for good reason. The themes are simple, but the stories are incredible.

This is my first read of Michael McDowell, and I'm so looking forward to reading more of his novels because this one wowed me so much.

If murder mysteries with supernatural elements ar

What a disappointment from the author of Blackwater. This was just sad, long, and most of all dumb. So so dumb. Basically it’s a small town, the killer is friendly with the sheriff, and the sheriff is lazy and stupid. That’s the meat of the story.

The paranormal ghostly part is just as big a failure. Normally if someone comes back to take on their murderer it’s to ensure the safety of their friends and family. That’s not our dead girls strategy. She taunts the killer into a frenzied murder of he
Michelle {Book Hangovers}
Wow!!! This book had me SHOOK!!!
Loved it! Absolutely loved it!!
This was my second McDowell book. I first read The Elementals and now, Cold Moon Over Babylon.
Both books blew me away.
Fast paced and just enough gore. Cold Moon gave me chills!!
This is the kind of horror I love! You can’t get much better than old school horror!
Damn! I can not wait to read more of McDowell’s books!
Horace Derwent
he and this book always suck me in, always send me wonders, i'm utterly possessed

to bloom the most morbid beauty in the dark, to immerse the cruelest mayhem with enchantment

my fav mcdowell's

what's the name of the booktype that you read it on puter screen?

the strongest feel this book gives me is like the one when i was reading wuthering heights, it's weird and indescribable and i like it that way, i implore it

well, as for the paperback is quite pricy and remote, the vers
Jul 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the background of the lush steamy south (always a favorite) and a dark deep river with a hungry past, this is the kind of classic ghost tale that makes up a good round-the-campfire repertoire. You're left to choose whether there is madness afoot or revenge from the grave, but either way, there is no way out from the genuine creepy pall that overcomes you with this read. Well written with a broad story, rife with possibilities, kept on track.

It's worth pointing out that this was originally
A nicely written little southern gothic that apparently enjoys a fond cult following (being a long-out-of-print paperback original of some quality will gain you that status I guess). I found this to be nothing extraordinary plot-wise, but McDowell (now deceased) had a flair for dialogue, clearly knew the milieu of the deep south and its denizens, and kept the suspense at a good level throughout. After a certain point though, the story needed a couple more curveballs thrown in to keep the conclus ...more
Chelsea (chelsea.wilde)
MY GOODNESS. What a ride!! McDowell is a complete savage.. and I don’t use that term lightly. If you’re looking for a suspenseful, terrifying, ghost story / murder mystery .. look no further! I am legitimately going to have nightmares after this book. McDowells writing style is blunt and to the point. His savagery is shown in a George RR Martin-y sort of way, where no one is safe and everyone can and will die. Just when you think you have things figured out he leaves a chapter on a cliff hanger ...more
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Michael McDowell is a prolific horror writer who has distinguished himself with a varied body of work within the genre. He was born in Enterprise, Alabama, in 1950 and died of AIDS-related illness in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1999.

His first horror novel, The Amulet, relates the tragedies that befall various individuals who come in possession of a supernatural pendant in a small town.

In McDowell's

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“I sort of wish that was what happened though, Ginny, because that would mean the girl is all right. Fourteen-year-old girls have run off before."

Ginny eyed the sheriff severely. "Not fourteen-year-old girls who had grandmas like Evelyn Larkin.”
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