A Facebook competition graced me with two gorgeous printed copies of Turner and They Move Below by Karl Drinkwater.
I’m a fan of Karl’s writing since listening to the audio version of Harvest Festival and had They Move Below waiting on my Kindle, so I was delighted with my prizes.
The bright and bloody cover of the novel Turner drew me in instantly. The book was full of action, gore and gutsy characters.
I loved the isolated Welsh setting and the overall atmosphere of the village. The village reminded me of Summerville Island in the classic horror film, The Wicker Man. The more gore, the better for me, and this did not disappoint. Turner would make an excellent horror film, with its twists and turns and constant action.
I loved the clever use of the words ‘turning’ and ‘turner’ in the book also. Like Harvest Festival, tension builds steadily throughout the book to a horrific and shocking ending.
They Move Below
They Move Below is a collection of 15 dark tales. Like all of Karl’s other work I’ve read, the writing is excellent. These are my mini reviews of a few of my favourite short stories.
If That Looking Glass Gets Broken
This was the most surprising of the stories for me, I did not guess the ending at all! And I read a lot of horror stories! The ending was shocking and horrific and I really enjoyed it.
They Move Below
The title tale was a strange one. The main character was very unlikeable and I found myself wishing bad things would happen to him… Let’s just say the ending was fitting! A surreal tale where the things that lurk below come alive.
Creeping Jesus was an unusual tale of a school trip to a natural history museum. I laughed out loud at the ingenious ending.
Just Telling Stories
Just telling stories was my favourite of the tales, it definitely has the creepy chills factor. I could see each scene unfold in my head and I’m sure next time I’m wandering down a lonely hotel corridor, this will creep into my head.
Claws Truth Forebear
This tale reminded me if an Indiana Jones movie. I loved the exotic location and the claustrophobic feel to it. I always dreamed of being an archaeologist when I was a child, so I was equally enthralled and horrified.
Breaking the Ice
Breaking the ice was written like a recording of a police interview. This style works really well in horror and leaves the reader’s imagination to wander as we are fed the information bit by bit.
How It Got There
I loved the red herring in this one, the writer does an excellent job of misleading the reader. A very clever tale. I also loved the way it tied in with the novel Turner.
The Scissor Man
The Scissor Mam reminder me of a grim, moralic fairytale, featuring a particular dislikable little boy. The reader is left to imagine a deliciously gruesome ending for him.
Overload was written in a very unusual style with shots of internet conversations (I’d love to know how it was done!) It’s format is perfect in this social media driven age. It’s also a cautionary take about taking everything that you see online to be true.
Living in the Present
This started out as a nice heartwarming Christmas tale, but the reader receives subtle hints that all may not be as nice. This was quirky and grisly.
Bleeding Sunset, Dancing Snowflakes
This original take on the vampire genre was ethereal and slightly erotic. There was beautiful imagery, even in the name.
I find it very hard to fault this collection, each tale is unique, some horrific and all leave the reader’s imagination run wild.
The book is excellently written, every word seems to be there for a reason. The tension builds from the end of an average day on the farm for Callum and his family. The ordinary strains on family relationships is very evident in the first few chapters. I loved the realism of those scenes.
The fact that those scenes are so normal allows for tension to build rapidly once the family ends up facing a horrific invasion of an alien kind. Dramatic and terrifying, the scenes move speedily along to an ending which stayed in my head for some while. Though it was a novella, I loved the changing dynamic in the family’s relationships from start to finish.
Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but has lived in Wales for half his life. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.
When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies.