The protagonist of “Death Trance” by Masterton is Randolph, a happy husband, content father of three kids and well organised owner of a cotton manufacturing company.
Randolph was never interested in joining to an association of owners dealing with oil and cotton and this was definitely not a welcomed sight in eyes of Randolph’s rivals.
The average life, so the speaks comes to an end when Randolph finds out that there was an explosion in his factory. It forces him to finish the holidays earlier as he is leaving his family in Quebec to investigate the cause of the accident.
Meanwhile his defenceless family becomes a victim to a very brutal murder, and the description of the murder brings Black Angel’s first chapter to a readers mind.
When Randolph finds out about the tragedy he finds himself unable to just carry on as before and the very successful man slowly becomes a shadow of himself. To add to the injury the company might not be able to meet requirements of their last important contract.
Randolph’s life becomes quite unbearable until the meets a Hindi doctor who tells him there might be a way to contact his dead family by means of entering an old mystic ritual called Death Trance Randolph becomes desperate to say final farewells to his lost family. In order to do that he must find a spiritual leader, who will help him enter the Trance and find his family.
He doesn’t realise he is being followed by paid killers when he leaves for Bali, where he hopes to find a wat to enter the trance and meet his family. He also isn’t worried that the ritual itself is very dangerous and he could become a victim of a goddess of death Rangda, or her zombie helpers.
“Death Trance” is a well written story that let’s us slowly find out small chunks of facts about the deadly ritual itself while we get to know Randolph and how his personal tragedy affected him to the point of nearly breaking him. When we think we know everything and we expect the novel to lead us to certain finish Masterton surprises us again and the plot takes an unexpected turn and all of sudden we feel like we are back to square one, just with much more knowledge but very little use of it.
A very enjoyable read and one of the stories when there’s a certain atmosphere attached to it, making you feel quite out of time and place once you finish reading the book and find yourself back to your present circumstances.