Advantages Paranoia, action, truly disturbing imagery - what's not to love?
Disadvantages Loathers of Cthulu related fiction may approach this with trepidation, but there's nothing to fear.
|Would you read it again?|
|How does it compare to similar books?|
|How does it compare to other works by the same author?|
'Hush', by Tim Lebbon and Gavin Williams, may well be the British horror novel of the year, and I don't say that lightly. It's been an excellent start to the century for high quality horror publishing, but I think this may steal the year by a nose.Jacob is a militant animal rights activist, a man unable to settle, to focus the rage he feels daily. Bizarre dreams haunt him - nightmares with the quality of memory, detailing horrific events that never happened. His world turns upside down during one raid on a supposed animal testing facility, during which he discovers a young woman seemingly being tested on. On the same raid, one of his fellow activists is trapped and killed by the shadowy faces behind the facility, and Jacob is forced to flee. On the run from what seems a vast power, with fingers penetrating every arm of the British government, he is forced to question constantly whom he can trust.
Thus this paranoid masterpiece begins, and it rockets along with confident zest. Lebbon and Williams are masterful storytellers, able to convey the surreal and disturbing without backing down, yet rooting it so firmly in our mundane world that it is impossible not to accept. The core character, a man with a broken past, is easy to empathise with, for all that he initially seems unlikeable. As we learn more about him, and he learns about himself, our view of him shifts radically, until the finale of the book where we are viewing a much changed man.As for the evil behind the insanity that ensues, it gives little away to mention that we are firmly into Lovecraftian territory, though it is handled with an impressive freshness and verve. Those who have not been fans of the Cthulu Mythos in the past have little to fear - the Lovecraft's work is used as a clever backdrop, but the story here is distinctly new.
As with much modern horror, the most disturbing sections of prose (and there are images in here that are going to stay with you for a long time) come in the middle of the book, when everything is up in the air. While Jacob is uncertain of what is going on, while the threat is shadowy and undefined, the novel works at its most efficient to terrify you. By the conclusion of the novel, with the evil identified and given a name, the novel becomes more of a supernatural thriller, the usual good vs. evil race against time, albeit delivered with grace and intelligence. Don't believe that, as you near the end, you have everything worked out though - Lebbon and Williams save some body blows for the final few pages.With a simply gorgeous cover from Chris Nurse, and high production values all round, this is another beautiful book from Razorblade Press, and their most overtly ambitious title to date, and it has you practically drooling to find out what they're going to throw at us next. Expect 'Hush' to run away with all kinds of genre awards next year.
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment