"Bloodstone" is Nate Kenyon's first novel, and it's not bad for a first novel, but it's certainly not the neo-classic that others here seem to want it to be.
The novel starts off with a bang, as recently paroled convict Billy Smith has kidnapped junkie prostitute Angel while in the throes of increasingly strong hallucinations that are compelling his behavior. Along the way he finds that Angel is also having hallucinationary visions and that she has been trying to control her own hallucinations with street drugs, and together they decide to search for the origin of these visions.
They find that the origin in the little town of White Falls that is readying for it annual town festival. In White Falls we meet the last two main characters of "Bloodstone". The first is Jeb Taylor, an angry, paranoid loser whose father was a violent, homicidal drunk; the other being the dedicated town doctor (and coroner?) Harry Stowe.
By the time that they have arrived in White Falls, Billy and Angel are falling in love, and Jeb is falling down the deep well of paranoid persecution and alcoholism, and Stowe is dragged into all of this by the death of a local priest.
The problems with "Bloodstone" outweigh the positives. While I don't mind a slow build-up, the main problem is the slo-o-o-ow pacing. Other than Jeb's dead father coming back to corrupt his loser son, and Billy finding a job doing scut work over at Stowe's offices, not a lot of interest happens and the storyline meanders endlessly until well past the two-hundred page mark. Kenyon certainly doesn't do much to develop the characters, as Jeb remains forever the whiney little putz, only getting progressively worse under the tutorage of his ghostly father; Billy remains the passive/resistant that keeps him from doing anything really interesting until the end of the novel; Angel is basically regulated to the background, and Stowe is stolid but two-dimensional. The rest of the novel's characters are straight from central casting and we get not one, but two cranky dementia addled characters.
Another problem is the romance between Billy and Angel. I just found it hard to believe that after being forcibly kidnapped and beaten, Angel would genuinely fall in love with Billy, and while Billy's visions are getting worse, Angel's visions disappear, as does her long-time drug habits because she starts thinking positively. Huh!?! If beating a habit was only that simple.
The book only really gets interesting in the last fifty pages, and even that could have been better. We get the walking dead, but they kinda do nothing but wander around the town and we find out that, no surprise, everything has to do with a character from the town's founding reaching out from the past to create the evil hauntings. In the end, "Bloodstone" has a pretty good cover, but a pedestrian plot with a mediocre pacing. This might have made a good novella, but there is just not enough meat here for full-length novel, although it would probably wouldn't be a bad low-budget movie.