Sunday, 24 April 2016
Right, I've tried about five times to give a brief synopsis of this book without giving away anything that could potentially ruin the story, but struggled, so I'll have a go and hope that I don't give any spoilers.
The tale is set in the village of Bothwell, in the Lanarkshire countryside. We meet Paul and the love of his life; Jane. The story is quite fragmented, but this is done in such a way that the elements of the tale all fall in line as the story reaches it's bloody and rather demented climax. Trust me, it's mad, but mad in the finest way possible.
As the story begins, we are treated to a powerful and gut wrenching scene of one man's loss and grieving. The way that Kyle conjures up the atmosphere and character's anguish is nothing short of phenomenal. You can almost picture yourself stood next to him in the harsh Scottish weather as the rain clatters down around you like artillery shells. It immediately put's you in a mind set for something dark and nostalgic.
Instead of chapters, the story is broken up into different sections, that all act as independent parts of the overall story, it really works;
A Funeral in the Rain
The Agony of Wakefulness
No Place for Peace
A Lonely Dwelling
True Love Will Find You in the End
A Happy Home
Love Will Tear Us Apart
A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
About a third of the way into the story, the direction takes a total shift, to the point where one scene I actually laughed out loud. I can't really say too much without giving the game away, but damn its clever. Clever and weighted heavily with some very dark humour. I can really picture the mischievous look upon his face when writing this.
As we follow the relationship of Paul and Jane, we see the turmoil and anguish of a man in unrequited love, his broken mind having to guide his internal struggles as he watches his relationship break down as the rot begins to set in. Expect strong scenes of sexual nature, domestic violence, graphic depictions of gore and pretty much everything else that you can think of. Nothing short of amazing for a book that is sixty-six pages in length.
I make no bones about the fact that I admire Kyle M Scott, as I find him a phenomenal writer. His story telling and attention to detail is second to none. His phrasing and prose really stand out, at times it's almost like reading poetry;
'And what use was decency, when life itself only revelled in cruelty?'
This book is not what I expected at all, at times it's intense, at times it's gross. You certainly don't want to read parts of it whilst eating, but above all else, it's clever and its damned entertaining.
I can't wait to see what he comes up with next in the Razorblade Candies series.
I say go grab it, you won't regret it, and you will smile.
My rating 5/5
Thursday, 14 April 2016
Where The Dead One's Play is a re-release of Kyle M Scott's original title - Protection, having been released through Matt Shaw Publications. Shaw gives us a nice introduction to the book, explaining how it all came about and a reflection on his own supernatural experiences with writing.
The story is based around widowed, struggling horror writer; James Kember, and his son Eddie. Kember, a single parent since losing his wife; Mary, during complications whilst birthing Eddie.
Despite battles with alcohol and borderline depression, Kember has raised his son to the very best of his ability, and is an intensely proud father, vowing to offer protection wherever needed to his son. The struggles of everyday life, and battling his demons has resulted in him becoming a writer that is unable to write.
When a nine year old girl; Lillith Sinclair is reported missing from their home town in Oregon, a dark and sinister story begins to unfold.
So what did I think? I thought it was a top notch horror story. Scott has proven that he can do the supernatural scary angle with his book; Devil's day. He has shown that he can do the contemporary, Body Snatchers style story with his book; Aftertaste. His contribution to Carnage proves he has no problem with the extreme. Where The Dead One's Play demonstrates further, that his diverse writing ability can cater for the dark, suspenseful and brooding horror fan.
This book is something else, it really is so well written. Kyle has the ability to offer up a simple sentence, yet make it jump from the page in a dramatic way;
'If hatred be a conduit for the perpetution of vengeance, then Lillith's wraith may need no other explanation for its existence.'
I've made reference to his brilliant writing being similar to the late, great Richard Laymon. This book further reinforces that similarity.
The story is a dark, twisted tale of deceit, lies and revenge, and sometimes touches on subjects that some other authors may have shyed away from. Any parent will truly feel the anguish portrayed within Kember's character, but will also sympathise with the underlying theme throughout the book. At times it can really make for an uncomfortable read, whilst staying completely realistic.
This isn't a story thats full of blood and gore, its a story where superb writing and believable characters create a world that is truly terrifying. You can have a guess at where you think the story will go next, and perhaps it will, but then it throws off at a tangent and comes back at a completely different angle.
In summary, an absolutely fantastic read from an up and coming force in horror literature. I can't give any less than 5/5 for this effort.
Give it a go, a good, solid release through an exciting new publisher.