There are no spoilers in this review, though some nostalgia and a healthy bit of praise. Bear with me as I bare with you, waxing nostalgic. (And for those with shorter attention spans, buy this book. It's worth it.)
I first picked up a copy of this nearly three decades ago. My 5th grade class had our annual booksale, and I got a copy for $1 (they priced books low to encourage us to read; it's no reflection on the book itself.) I read it four times over the next few years. I lost my copy in 9th grade, forgot it on a desk and when I went back after class was over, it was gone.
In the years after, I could remember elements of the author's name, and the basic plot, and as the internet and Google became a thing, I would Google what I could. This book eluded me for a decade and a half in the Internet Era.
I lucked out and found a forum post about a year ago, someone else was looking for the same book. We added information that we could each remember and some blessed saint-to-be had a copy, gave us the full name of the author and the book.
I then spent six months on eBay, Amazon, other sites, trying to find a copy. I lucked out and found a copy of this and another book by the same author at a reasonable price and bought it right away.
All of that said is to simply relate to you the extreme efforts I have gone through for over twenty years to find this book.
This book is very well written, a great horror piece with a splash of action. T. Chris Martindale is probably the most underrated writer in this genre, hands down, and if the author is still alive, I hope they return to writing. I can never thank this author enough. Nightblood fueled my creative mind as a kid and teen, and gave me the courage and excitement to write my very first short story. Such a good read. The price here on Amazon is currently $50 for a copy; it's inflated but I think that's because, to best of my knowledge, there is no ebook version of this nor where there many printings. The book is rare in its own rights. I would still pay $50 for a copy for this and if I didn't keep the copy I have in a security box at my bank, I'd get another copy, read it once a year and store it there.
Such a good book and, considering it came out in '89, it was ahead of it's time. This wasn't some scrub writer epub'ing everything under the sun like we have now. In 2019 we have tens of thousands of books coming out every year thanks solely to epub stuff. Martindale, though, Martindale cut their teeth in a pre-internet era and wrote a masterpiece of the action/macabre genre.