Blackgang: The Trickerjack Trail

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Blackgang: The Trickerjack Trail

Last Free Dates: 23rd Aug 17 to 27th Aug 17
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...Moving quickly from suspense to outright horror, and back, this is a creepy and disturbing story....

Starting as a psychological and supernatural suspense, it moves slowly and inexorably towards visceral horror and I mean that in the sense of evisceration and gore.

It is internally consistent, the plot makes a lot of sense and I can’t fault the author’s research. Most people who grew up in the South of Britain are aware of the continual erosion of the Blackgang Chine. He’s taken real events and woven a legitimately terrifying tale around them. It does remind me of old British folktales and horror: the hateful thing, the death boggle (the ones they don’t tell anymore) but all these tales have one thing in common, people cheat.

There are no good people in this, only bad people and victims, but as the reason for this is explained at the end I’m not knocking points off. This is a book where reading the end first does reduce its impact, so I’d suggest two reads: one coming to it fresh for full impact and then a second once you’re got the picture. The hero is decidedly flawed but those flaws are part of the plot, so I can forgive them. Taylor Pike is brave, intelligent, straight forward to the point of credulity and compassionate despite the situation he found himself in.

The author does enjoy playing with expectations though; despite an outwardly sympathetic background his villain is an unmitigatedly evil piece of work. The story has layers on layers each darker than the last.

Horror readers would love it. Anyone who likes grimdark fiction should give it a try. Lovers of happy, smiley, fluffy redemption stories best give it a miss.

Rating: 4
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atry (21 June 2017)
I read this. It's a really nasty story in parts. Nasty as in horror not badly written.

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