Book Review: Silent Voices / Author: Gary McMahon / Publisher: Solaris / Release Date: Out Now
I almost missed Gary McMahon when The Concrete Grove came out. I’m pretty glad I didn’t, however, because his latest novel Silent Voices (a sequel to his first work) is not only a great follow-up, it’s also a deeply creepy, character driven lesson in how to tell a gripping horror story.
Whereas The Concrete Grove gave us hints as to the lurking horror in McMahon’s dark vision of urban decay, Silent Voices takes us further into this terrifying world. The narrative focuses on three close friends, whose lives were forever changed by a journey to The Needle; an abandoned city block filled with nightmares. This is a very British tale of horror, and though one could compare elements of the story to something like Stephen Kings IT, this novel carries none of the flab associated with that book.
Horror works best when the reader invests in the tale, and McMahon really does make you care about the three boys. Elements of the tale seem intensely personal, and I cannot shake the feeling that the author has poured elements of his own life into a twisted mould to create a truly thrilling and terrifying read.
Though Silent Voices works fine as a stand-alone work, if you’re a fan of slow-burn horror told in a strong and compelling way, you may as well pick up the first book as well. McMahon is one to watch, and I can’t wait for the next one.