Saturday, 8 October 2016

Book review - Flies - Andrew Lennon

For Andrew Lennon's latest offering, he gives us Flies - A short story. I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

Justin is a young man, a very wealthy and spoilt young man. He's not really a very likable person. He's a bit lazy, but that's okay because his daddy owns the company that he works for, which gives him the right to be work shy. He's one of those - to hear him talk, he's always swamped under with work; there simply aren't enough hours in the day. Justin is used to getting his own way in more than one sense of the word. He is a man with seriously questionable integrity, believing that people can be bought and sold as a commodity.

One day whilst at work, Justin takes enormous advantage of a fly in his office and calls his father with the impression that the place has a serious infestation and that he has called in a fumigation team. The result; an afternoon off work. He gets himself off down to The Pony Dive, a local gentleman only club, where he instigates a business transaction with his favourite stripper - Cherry.

With a date lined up, Justin departs to set up his upcoming party with recreational pharmaceuticals. As the afternoon progresses, those pesky flies seem to be getting everywhere.

So, what did I think of it? I thought it was a top notch story. With it being a short, I can't really give the game away too much. It flows along nicely at a steady pace giving a decent amount of character development, especially in the case of our friend, Justin. I really felt like I wanted to slap him around the face at moments. You're not entirely sure where the story is going to be headed, you have an idea of what the story involves - hence the title, but that's really about it. Like with most writers, I can see the maturity of Lennon's writing and story telling ability over time. This flows seamlessly, he obviously had a great time whilst writing.  An almost tongue-in-cheek, comedic great time.

It is a creepy little number and will most likely make you start scratching, fully intended. It really strikes me as the type of story that would have fitted perfectly in place in Tales From the Crypt or The Twilight Zone. The cover image is actually a really good representation for the feel of the pulpy style of tale contained within. If I had one gripe, it would be that the ending, albeit totally unexpected just seemed to be a little abrupt. I think it could have been strung out just a little further to really strengthen that creepy undertone that's carried throughout so well.

In addition, there is a great short Sci-Fi horror short from Michael Bray and a creepy little number from Shaun Hupp that really sits well with the main title. The third bonus story from Norman Turrell isn't what I would traditionally class as horror, but its worth a read.

All in, a very solid 4/5.

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