Book Review: Dead Bad Things by Gary McMahon

PrintE-mail Written by Graeme Reynolds

Gary McMahon’s latest book takes place six months after the end of Pretty Little Dead Things, and finds Thomas Usher hiding out in one of the UK’s most haunted houses in an attempt to come to terms with the events of the last novel. A mysterious telephone call from a mechanical, clockwork voice jars him out of his downward spiral and puts him on a collision course with a police constable, searching for the truth about her abusive Father, and a discredited psychic with a taste for young boys, influenced by a supernatural entity with links to Usher’s past.

This book is not an easy read. To say that it’s bleak is something of an understatement. From the detailed descriptions of the oppressive urban squalor that the characters inhabit, to the depraved acts of the assembled paedophiles, murderers and low lives, the entire book seems to ooze desperation and depravity from each and every page. The human characters are among the most horrific in any novel that I can remember reading, and that’s before we get into the supernatural entities that are orchestrating the atrocities behind the scenes.

Dead Bad Things will not be for everyone. It’s a dark, disturbing read that seems to relish finding subject matters that most people would shy away from, and then shining a floodlight on it. Scenes are described in great detail, and every word seems to have been carefully selected to elicit an emotional response.

This is a powerful piece of fiction. It’s extremely well written, and the characters are (unfortunately) quite believable. I get the feeling that this book will stay with me for quite some time, worming its way into my psyche like some grotesque engorged flesh eating maggot.

Did I enjoy it? If I’m honest, probably not. This book took me places that I would not go willingly, but that does not make it any less compelling. If you like your horror dark, disturbing, intense and oppressive then this will be right up your street. Just be warned. This is not your usual horror story.

Dead Bad Things is out now from Angry Robot publishing


Suggested Articles:
Gwendolyn Bloom is a teenage schoolgirl who, ever since her mother was murdered, has spent her life
From the author of the Revelation Space series comes a tale of interstellar war from the perspective
This Young Monster explores the world of some of modern culture's most beloved monsters, taking a lo
In case you hadn’t realised, it’s 70 years since the death of HG Wells, which means (in the UK a
scroll back to top

Comments  

 
0 #1 Neil John Buchanan 2011-09-22 09:45
Showing us a side of the human condition we'd rather not see is the difference between good and great horror.I'll add this to my hit list.
Quote
 

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Book Reviews

THE SONG RISING 21 February 2017

PSEUDOTOOTH 21 February 2017

THE CRUELTY 20 February 2017

SLOW BULLETS 18 February 2017

THE NINTH RAIN 14 February 2017

THIS YOUNG MONSTER 14 February 2017

THE TIME MACHINE 13 February 2017

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS 12 February 2017

HEARTLESS 10 February 2017

WINTER OF THE GODS 09 February 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner