A good friend I know from my FracturedSpacesRecords days sent me this review of Gary McMahon’s What They Hear in the Dark… glad to hear of another satisfied customer!
Truly original and inspiring horror is a rarity to come across these days, far too often ‘modern’ authors depend on ‘schlock/blood/guts/gore’ to sell their books, almost dispensing on what makes for true horror. “What is that then?” you ask bemusedly? Atmosphere. dear reader…atmosphere! Simon Marshall-Jones at Spectral Press knows what horror is really about, and his authors are that rare breed who feed of getting under your skin … into your head … deep inside your fears and neuroses…leaving you feeling really ‘sullied and unusual’ for the longest time after.
What They Hear… is a slow-burning novella by Gary McMahon, beautifully constructed, with only the merest of subtle hints of possible savagery and violence – instead it’s a tale swathed in dark oppressive cloying atmospherics, I began to genuinely feel a sense of claustrophobic unease the further I read, Gary finds a way of not just making you ‘see’ his characters and environs, but to actually put you ‘in’ there alongside them, actually sharing in the fear, misery, and creeping dread.
As the story unfolds, I actually wanted to stop reading, I was genuinely so uncomfortable, yet as much as I wanted to stop… to put the book away completely… I just couldn’t… I had to keep reading, as the story reached its shuddering grisly finale. I finally finished and put the book down, but I couldn’t think what to do next, I kept going back over what I’d read in my head… Gods help me if I’d needed to sleep…that would have been a complete non-starter!
Congratulations to both Gary, and to Spectral Press… I’m hooked… well and truly…curse you for freaking me!
Satanic “Darkest Fears” Muttley