“There are dark things afoot at Picker’s Bleed.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Full disclosure, I was sent this book specifically for me to read and review. Being of the horror genre which is replete with god-awful Indie writers I fully expected a splatter novel full of pointless conversation and dreadful sex scenes, I am pleased to say I was disappointed!
Mark has a talent for painting a vivid picture with his writing without being over verbose and clunky. He has his plot and characters well mapped out and he’s researched the hell out of his subject. His writing feels very much like early James Herbert, or John Saul in style and subject matter, it’s a nice change from the modern sex, blood and gore driven horror of today’s new authors.
The novel surrounds a young couple who are looking for their ideal home out in the countryside, far away from the rat race. Somewhere that fits in with their quirky lifestyle and their desire to own their very own fairy-tale cottage.
It quickly becomes apparent that this is no ordinary cottage (something that the reader will have guessed from the prologue) and that there are dark things afoot at Picker’s Bleed. In true horror genre style, the couple decide to plough on with their decision to move whereupon the inevitable descent into a nightmarish world of ancient wrongs, closed off communities and sacrificial outsiders who are all brought together in a tumultuous battle between good and evil.
The plot is well thought out, the settings quintessentially British, the storyline flows beautifully and the characters, although a little one dimensional and awkward, are believable and emotive.
The book is a little creaky in places, it feels like the author is climbing back into the saddle after a long time and is finding their feet again but it is eminently enjoyable and I will seek out his other writings and read them.
Added 28th May 2021