Sunday, 5 July 2015

Book Review - Milk-Blood by Mark Matthews

This book has been languishing on my TBR list for quite some time and I'm glad that I have finally gotten round to reading it because it is a fantastic horror read. The title comes from the rather unsavory practice of injecting blood taken from people who are high to experience their high. It also leads to other evntualities that become apparent as the story progresses.

It's a relatively quick read that packs quite a punch. It's not often I feel actual horror even when reading the most gruesome of tales but this book managed it on more than one occasion. It is, however, quite a sombre story that is quite heartbreaking in places.

The story is told from a few perspectives: A father trying to take care of his sick mother and sick daughter. The daughter who has been born with congenital defects. A crazy homeless man who hears voices and the author himself, a social worker whose life intersects the daughter's. Each perspective adds a unique viewpoint on the events as they unfurl. The author does a very good job with the shifting between characters. They also have have very different personalities which, when combined really add to the horror of the situation.

Often with stories there is a favourite character, but the strength of the author's writing brings a balance to the different characters so they are all integral to the story. Good or bad the story would have been diminished without any of them. The author's presence in particular is a small part for the most part but everything clicks into place by the end.

Beyond that the setting of the run down city provides a stark backdrop to the story and also a sense of social commentary throughout the story. The pacing is solid and the writing has a clear style that pulls you through the story.This is a highly recommended read for any horror fan.

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Lilly is ten years old, born with a heart defect, and already addicted to heroin. Her mother is gone from her life, and there are rumors that she was killed by her father and buried near the abandoned house across the street. The house intrigues her, she can't stay away, and the monstrous homeless man who lives there has been trying to get Lilly to come inside.

For her mother is there, buried in the back, and this homeless man is Lilly's true father, and both want their daughter back.


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