Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A new takeoff on the ghost ship


By Tim Curran


Publisher: Darkfuse

Pub. Date: May 27, 2014

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Tim Curran is fast headed onto my short list of great horror writers. His novel titled Nightcrawlers took the theme of mutated Lovecraftian creatures and turned it into a non-stop terror fest. In Deadlock, he visits an old war horse, the ghost ship. What starts out like a variation of the "man spend the night on a haunted house" (in this case boat) becomes something else entirely. Tim Curran is not the type of writer who deals with cliches. He actually want to scare the panties off you. In this no sentence wasted short novel, our protagonist is an over confident man who never backs down in fear. He is also in debt to a crime figure for gambling debts worth $50,000. He is given the chance to repay by spending the night in a haunted ship. The crime boss who owns the ship wants to prove to his superstitious crew that the ship isn't really haunted. If you think that sounds too simple and pat, you're right. The author has plenty of nerve racking surprises, not to mention a gorgeous final twist nicely delivered in one last sentence. Tim Curran, based on the two books I've read, seems destined to be my go-to guy for creepy creatures and monsters. He has a sure hand for the grotesque and gruesome. An astute mind for action and suspense doesn't hurt either. Even though I liked Nightcrawlers a little better, Deadlock shows that the author can take one character and make him real enough, and in this case terrified enough, to carry the entire book. So far, I have Nightcrawlers on my list for one of the best horror novels in 2014 and Deadlock comes awfully close to joining the list.

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