Sunday 15 August 2010

Pretty Little Dead Things, by Gary McMahon

This is not due to be published until November, by Angry Robot Books, but I read this as Gary wanted me to crit its follow-up ("Dead Bad Things"). I've been desperate to yell about this novel (and another one coming soon, called "The End", which is - quite literally - a superb piece of horror fiction) for some time and now, finally, I can.
Thomas Usher can see ghosts and it’s his job to try and find out their stories. Having lost his wife and child some years before, he’s hardened to life and when the girl he’s been hired to follow winds up dead, he digs a little too deeply and finds out things that would best be left undiscovered. A cool, dark, downbeat horror-thriller, this is the first of two Usher novels that McMahon will publish through Angry Robot books and it’s a killer. From the painful, poignant relationship between Usher and his old friend Ellen, to the grime and sleaze he encounters along the way to the gripping, shattering conclusion, this is told with verve and wit and a fearless desire to show the reader what lies just below the surface of modern Britain. Full of inventive, realistic characters, gruesome set pieces and a very nasty dark turn from The Pilgrim, this is a startling, demanding novel, that I recommend highly.

Buy this book, then its (equally dark and gripping) sequel and whatever you do, don't forget "The End"!

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