DeCandido imbues the Keys with a mystical exoticism and reminds stodgy sticks-in-the-mud like me that not everyone gets to live in paradise. The bar scene on Cayo Hueso smacks of hedonism and painless pleasure, and he constantly underscores the supernatural tension on the island with music and the ever-present and indestructible presence of the tourist trade. Yes, a vengeance spirit of the Calusa is sucking the life force from hapless white folks and discarding them like desiccated orange slices, and yes, a pair of demons are slicing tipsy tourists for their own ends, but beyond the insular bubble of the story, life goes on. The bars still beckon and the haunted isle hucksters keep peddling their wares. By anchoring the hyperreality of the Brothers Winchester to the mundane reality of the rest of the world, DeCandido creates a surreal, bizarre, and often sublime carnival atmosphere.
This is quite simply some of the finest praise I've ever received, and many many thanks to laguera25 for it.