Review: The Fox / Author: Conrad Williams / Publisher: This Is Horror / Release Date: March 1st
The third in the This Is Horror chapbook series takes a very different tack from the previous entries that were almost otherworldly in their presentation.
With The Fox, Williams provides a scenario that’s so normal and recognisable that as events unfold, a knot appears in your stomach, twisting tighter and tighter until you reach the denouement.
Our unnamed narrator has taken his wife, Kit and their two daughters, Megan and Lucy, on a camping holiday near the New Forest, to spend some quality family time together surrounded by nature. When the chicken coop is found to have been attacked by what is presumed to have been a fox, the farmer is perplexed and the parents do their best to shield the girls from the animalistic violence that has occurred.
Later, whilst walking in the snow, they find a dead fox and go to tell the farmer, but when they return to the same spot, the animal’s body has disappeared.
We are then told of a dark secret that the narrator has had since his childhood; one that he regrets and is ashamed of but can never forget, which goes a long way to explaining the events overall, but leaves just enough to the imagination for you to try and fill in the blanks.
The final twist arrives when the narrator is drawn out into the snowy night by the bleating of what sounds like an injured sheep. The only problem is, they haven’t seen any sheep on the farm during their time there.
To say anymore would be unfair on you, the readers. This chapbook series is just so wonderfully consistent in its releases and if you are a fan of horror, then grabbing yourself copies of these limited edition releases is well worth your buck.