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MONOLITH: The Chilling Horror Novel from the Godfather of Gore Kindle Edition
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|Length: 336 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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The plot idea is not bad, and is one of the stronger parts of the book. An ancient power has been harnessed and then brought forward into today where it is being used for evil purposes. Granted, this is an old theme, but the author has a good idea and could have done well with this.
It is the writing itself that fails to capitalize on the possibilities, and the editing missed numerous flaws in every chapter. The lack of commas made it difficult at times to be able to understand the action. However, it was the grammar errors that were especially jarring. For example:
"When he'd collected all the glass together..."
- with collected, together is redundant
"Some had praised its classic design and welcomed its building because of the amount of jobs it had created within the capital (sic)."
- while understandable, the sentence is clunky and contains a misspelling
Other times, sentences simply made no sense:
"Jess smiled and began dressing. When she was, she set about looking for her shoes..."
"It reminded her of a spider advancing on its prey. Neither hurries because neither needs to."
While the explanation of over 70 deaths can be loosely linked with the author's killer, there is at least one death described in the book which cannot. (It is hard to explain more without causing spoilers).
There are excessive vulgarities and swearing throughout the book, and most characters cannot go a chapter without dropping at least one f-bomb. I don't remove stars for this, just letting folks know.
Overall, a decent idea but very difficult to read. Two stars.
~edited to correct an error
So you go to a Horror Con and you are lucky enough to get speaking to one of the legends of British horror writing, Shaun Hutson. This has you shaking in your boots. It’s Shaun Hutson for god’s sake! Then you happen to mention you are a reviewer, after he has just signed an anthology he is in for you. He tells you to come speak to him and his publisher. After people pick you up off the floor, you go speak to him and he gives you his latest book to review. Once your friends pick you up again and give you some oxygen, you have to punch yourself to make sure it is actually happening.
That is the shortened, polite version of events when Nev met Shaun. A highlight of the year for me. One that will probably not be surpassed. So what was his first book for five years like then? Was it worth the double collapse and embarrassment I suffered at not being able to talk for a week?
This is what I thought.
The Crystal Tower is a new and mysterious building being completed on the banks of the river Thames. It is mysterious because of its reclusive Russian billionaire owner, Andrei Voronov. He is thought to be involved in all sorts of criminal activities. And why have so many people died during the construction of the building?
Jessica Anderson is a reporter. She is convinced there is something sinister going on at the Crystal Tower. When deaths start to occur outside the building, she is convinced Voronov is connected.
Alongside her old colleague, Alex Hadley, she sets out to discover the truth behind the deaths and the mysterious giant that seems to be involved in everything.
Our main characters in this one are obviously Jess and Alex. Well, they would be the main ones on the good side of the fence. If you can call it that. Are reporters good? Jess is a loner. A private individual who lives for her work and will stop at nothing to get the results she needs. Alex is a man hounded by past mistakes. His world has fallen apart and he doesn’t really want to get involved but sees no way around things. As a team, they make a good partnership. If they just got over their own problems, they would be even better.
Spike is a man with a secret room, full of surveillance equipment he uses to keep tracks on the police and emergency services. He is also the man who gives Jess all her tips. A bit of a slime ball, he is in everything for the money but I reckon there is a good guy in there two.
Voronov would be the main man on the evil side of things. A typical Russian billionaire, he can have what he wants. He doesn’t seem to be as flamboyant as some we would see in today’s press though. He is keeping secrets. Secrets that date back to his grandfather in the 30’s. Secrets that hold fantastic power over evil.
There are a host of others that come in to play throughout the story but it mainly centres around these four.
The plot? People keep dying in a building. A reporter tries to uncover the truth. It really is that simple. But it’s not. There are things going on in this story that are connected to ancient rituals that have been happening for decades. Connections start to come out about past crimes and a long family history that start to complicate things a bit and make it more in-depth.
But you know what? It is as simple as it first seems. To me that is what makes this book. You find out fairly early what is happening. You don’t have to be too smart to work it out. From there on in you know what needs to happen. But how it’s going to happen is the mystery, and that’s what keeps the story going at breakneck speed.
I have seen some scathing reviews of this book. I didn’t read them until I had read the book. I have no idea what they are talking about. Yeah this is certainly, for me, not the greatest Shaun Hutson book I have ever read, but I think people forget what it takes to write a good, exciting horror book.
For me Monolith is one of them. It doesn’t need any huge, elaborate back stories full of myths and made up stuff that blinds you and confuses you. It doesn’t need huge, elaborate explosions and Hollywood style chases and technologically complicated gadgets to get you through it. It is stripped down, basic urban horror that does what it needs to do, not because of the unnecessary use of all of the above. It does it because the writer has a talent at writing stuff that keeps you glued to the pages. You are glued to those pages because of the writing. Nothing else.
I mean seriously, how old is Shaun Hutson? He must be about one hundred and eight or something because he seems to have been around for ever. Why is that do you think? He has written over thirty books. Any ideas? Because he doesn’t need any gimmicks. He doesn’t need any help with his writing. He just does it how he feels it. To me that comes through very clear in his older books and with Monolith.
Horror doesn’t need to be fancy to be good. It doesn’t need to be elaborate to be good. It just needs to be good. A good story, written in a way that will keep you glued to the pages. One that lets you breathe when you need to and places you on the edge of your seat just when you get comfortable. Shaun Hutson does all of the above with Monolith. This is the type of horror I grew up with. I am so pleased it is still being written by one of the masters of the genre, and still written so well.
To summarise: this goes into the easy to read category. Easy to read because it is fluid and entertaining and yes, very scary in parts. Old skool horror in a modern setting. It’s Shaun Hutson for god’s sake. Just go buy it.
Oh and you must listen to Iron Maiden while reading it!
★★★★ nearly perfect for me.
★★★★ some old skool scares in this one.