The Sickness by Dylan J.Morgan
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I received an ARC of The Sickness in exchange for an honest review via Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT
An unmarked grave, a ring of salt, and four black candles are my favourite type of opening hook. As a fan of horror, and supernatural novels, I am always happy when the two mix and The Sickness provides this in abundance.
From the opening paragraph, we are shown that some of the characters have returned from the dead. To discover why this has happened, and indeed, how it was possible, we must join James Harris as he re-visits his home town, and a past he has tried so hard to forget.
The story unfolds in the thick of the action and only after we’ve experienced our first evisceration do we get to meet our hero.
I like James, a lot. I also like his teenage daughter, Ruth. Their relationship is beautifully crafted. The bond between them is clearly evident and even though Ruth is a feisty teenager with a strong will and tendencies towards truancy, you feel the love they have for one another flow off the page. I didn’t warm to Kath, who is Ruth’s mother, but I think that was the whole point, as it strengths the readers compassion for that father and daughter attachment.
If you like your supernatural horror to be dark, gruesome and unequivocally gory, then this is the book for you. The author’s ability to describe a brutal murder down to the last laceration is captivating. He paints a vivid and colourful picture of blood and bodily fluids.
The story is set in Nash, an English countryside community. I love Morgan’s style of writing as he sets the scene. His descriptive prose is so crisp that I found myself tugging at my collar to shield from an imaginary storm. Although I don’t believe the British weather is quite as dismal as it is in Nash, Morgan certainly captures the essence of the dark and gloomy horror backdrop, and he uses it to its full potential. I believe George Romero or Wes Craven would have enjoyed developing this story for cinema.
I was expecting horror, but I wasn’t expecting such graphic sexually explicit scenes. They are sprinkled throughout the story, some of them are vital to the plot, but there were others that I felt were unnecessary, this is a purely personal observation that may not be mirrored by other readers.
I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but I must briefly mention the ending. It is explosive, expertly written and riveting. I didn’t blink in case I missed something. The plot is neatly interwoven and carefully planned out, so you don’t see any of the twists coming.
No review would be complete without a shout out for the book cover. The image, colours, and typography fit the horror genre perfectly. It drew me in straight away. I would highly recommend The Sickness if you enjoy horror or/and supernatural novels.
A husband confronted by his jealous wife . . . an old man abandoned so his grandson can claim his inheritance . . . a fifteen year-old boy disowned because of his handicap. All of them are dead. All of them have returned. And they have come for revenge.
James Harris is thirty-six years old, divorced, and has a sixteen year old rebellious daughter to contend with. His chaotic life is thrown into further turmoil with the phone call bearing news that his parents have died in tragic circumstances. Forced home to attend the funeral, James steps back into a world he’d tried so hard to forget.
Nash is a small farming community in rural England: picturesque and serene, but it has secrets—violent, horrific, depraved secrets. Wanting to keep their business hidden, the townsfolk are not about to let anyone leave. But when an unexpected visitor arrives in the village searching for James, things take a horrific turn for the worst and he is forced to face the horrors of his past if he is to have any hope of survival.