And now ….
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Just a bit of fun, this. Note: these four stories are NOT the ones I necessarily consider to be the best in the book, but they are the four I perceive as most filmic and most right for a compendium horror. Of course, no such horror film can happen without a central thread, and this is where you guys, the audience, come in.
Just accept that four strangers have been thrown together in unusual circumstances which require them to relate spooky stories. Without further messing about, here are the stories and the casts I would choose:. Just Good Friends : Helen, a beautiful something, is unlucky in love until she meets the gentle, enigmatic Peter, who she is strongly attracted to despite their relationship remaining platonic.
Unnerved by such weirdness, Helen breaks the relationship off and gets a new boyfriend, only to develop an urge to return to her native Cornwall to see her ailing mother, Alice, and investigate the mysterious old seaside house that she increasingly remembers from childhood ….
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Helen — Claire Foy. Peter — William Moseley. Listings : The story of a bad place on the edge of the Somerset marshes. A human habitation, but a spot where various houses, pubs and the like have all been troubled by a mysterious, malevolent entity who may or may not be Tunk, the fearsome, sheep-headed goblin of local West Country myth ….
The Pool : A scenic woodland pool with a mysterious, anonymous something lurking in its opaque depths exerts a subtle evil influence over all those who venture near it, no matter how fun-loving they are or innocent their motives. Help the Witch : Jeff, an academic on the run from an irrevocably broken relationship, heads north into the Derbyshire Peaks, where he takes a primitive cottage high on a valley edge just in time to get snowed in by a terrible winter.
It is probably not the best time to discover that the cottage is haunted by a spirit still lingering after the ghastly carnage of the plague era …. Jeff — Ben Whishaw. Catherine voice only — Lena Headey. However, even Poe can go too far sometimes, and he is currently suspended and basically disgraced after acting on principle in a previous investigation rather than following procedure, the pending outcome of which may see him discharged from the police force altogether.
Realising he has no option but to get involved, Poe accepts reinstatement into the NCA even though not all of its top brass approve , and even takes a demotion in rank from DI to DS though this latter is because Poe rarely works within the normal structures of high-level police investigations anyway, usually preferring to develop his own leads and run them down under his own steam. Straight away, however, he finds himself up to his neck in unforseen complexity. To start with, this is no ordinary serial murder case. There is more than just cruelty and sadism on show; ritual elements are in evidence too, while the offender is highly organised and efficient.
Given that the most recent victim was a local councillor, Michael James, there may even be a political dimension. And this, of course, can only be a good thing, because the Immolation Man is clearly not going to stop killing. Needless to say, the deeper the twosome dig into the case, the more horrible revelations they uncover, the more extensive the apparent conspiracy at the root of it, and the closer and closer to home the enquiry seems to bring them …. First of all, its setting is marvellously realised.
Bleak, rugged locations are not uncommon in crime fiction, especially since the arrival of the Nordic Noir subgenre, but the Lake District, while rugged, is not bleak. This is a cop-thriller first and foremost, and yet Lakeland is always there, an extra character, if you like, but an important one too. And he really does. In this novel, though the Lake District is a remote region, modern policing is to the fore. This is the National Crime Agency after all, possibly the most modern outfit, in every sense of the word, in the whole of the British police service.
All the procedures are there, all the latest methods and the brand-new technical back-up are duly referenced, but none of it gets in the way. In fact, if anything, through the proxy of Washington Poe, Craven vents his frustration at this. He particularly despises the kind of bureaucratic red tape that prohibits officers from exercising judgement and discretion. On one hand you have the super-efficient, super hi-tech and yet hidebound world of the National Crime Agency, as exemplified by patrician Director Edward van Zyl and even more so by Deputy Director Justin Hanson.
I say it again, Mike Craven was a probation officer, not a cop, but he clearly worked with the cops.
Because from this debut novel, he knows his stuff inside-out. And this, I guess, brings us neatly to the characters, which are the third aspect of this novel that I really enjoyed. There are two main personalities here, Poe and Bradshaw, and what a unique pairing they are. Because while Poe is the primal creature, the elemental force, the instinct-over-analysis, Tilly Bradshaw is the cerebral side of the equation.
And together, they make a near-perfect whole. But Bradshaw has her own personality, too, and it was a fascinating decision by the author to place at the heart of a story like this, which has the potential to be hugely distressing to the readers, yes, but also to the characters in the tale, particularly those with some political acumen , a character who is introverted and overly sensitive, who is untrusing of others, has very little self-awareness and is even slightly autistic.
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Far from it. Bradshaw does not need that. She is incredibly smart, possessing great deductive powers, and is very computer-literate. In the modern age of policing, these are vital assets. In purely technical terms, of course, this is a clever device by Craven. In future books, I can easily envisage Poe coming to rely heavily on Bradshaw, not just as his quick hook-up to the internet and personal mine of information, but also as his thinker and adviser.
Overall, this novel is a long way from being your average serial killer thriller. It needs to sit on each and every bookshelf. You never now, at some point, some producer or casting director may take heed of this column. Anyway, just for laughts, here we go:. Tilly Bradshaw — Ella Purnell. Hanson — Adrian Rawlins. Make no mistake, the events that follow comprise pure horror — for all sorts of reasons.
Never has the terror of deep sea exploration been as fully and vividly realised as it is here. Nick Cutter takes us down through untold lightless fathoms to a realm that is alien in every sense of the word; an environment where oxygen itself turns toxic, where the tiniest chink in the hull could create an incoming jet of water so intense it will slice a man in half, and yet where native creatures exist that have no place in any sane creation.
With Hell triumphant on the outside, on the inside of the claustrophobic sea-base the foulness and disarray is horrendous; the sense of besiegement under millions of tonnes of crushing black water is overpowering. A sentient something that will play catastrophic havoc with human minds, not to mention their anatomy, purely for reasons of its own fascination.
To say more about this would be a real spoiler, but put it this way, there are some occasions when wickedness knows no bounds — quite literally; neither intellectual, spiritual, nor even physical. There are points in this novel where you must be prepared to be very disgusted indeed. At the same time, Luke Nelson, a likeable hero in every possible way, is no more than an everyman. He has no skills of his own that he can bring to bear in this demonic zone, no specialist knowledge. His battle-scarred military sidekick, Lieutenant Alice Sykes, aside from being a submersible pilot, is in a similar position.
The desperate twosome find themselves completely at the mercy of forces beyond their imagining, and yet somehow they must not just endure, but must save the world with their actions. This an amazing piece of fiction. An oceanic horror classic. Widely esteemed editor, Ellen Datlow, the creator of innumerable top-class horror anthologies, finally turns her informed gaze to the ocean. The result is this hugely imaginative and varied collection of chilling tales set around and beneath the sea. Stranded on a desert island, a young man yearns for objects from his past.
A local from a small coastal town in England is found dead as the tide goes out. A Norwegian whaling ship is stranded in the Arctic, its crew threatened by mysterious forces. In the nineteenth century, a ship drifts in becalmed waters in the Indian Ocean, those on it haunted by their evil deeds. A surfer turned diver discovers there are things worse than drowning under the sea.see url
What Are We Reading And Reviewing In March?
Something from the sea is creating monsters on land. In The Devil and the Deep, award-winning editor Ellen Datlow shares an all-original anthology of horror that covers the depths of the deep blue sea, with brand new stories from New York Times bestsellers and award-winning authors such as Seanan McGuire, Christopher Golden, Stephen Graham Jones, and more. I sail it whenever I can, I poke around its edges, I delve beneath the surface.
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