Thursday, January 9, 2020

A Rush of Blood

A Rush of Blood is a standalone horror thriller by David Mark. Released 7th Jan 2020 by Severn House, it's 224 pages and available in hardcover and ebook formats. The ebook format includes an interactive table of contents with chapter headings. I've become very fond of interactive ebooks lately.

This is an extremely creepy horror-tinged thriller. I've seen everyone calling it atmospheric, and I think that's apt. Although it's set in modern day Whitechapel, the prose calls up foggy London of more than a century ago. There's a sense of creeping dread throughout and several places in the book where I got literal chills, almost a visceral reaction. The author uses alternating PoVs to great effect and the parallel narratives intertwine to an -exceedingly- creepy denouement which felt inevitable in retrospect. It's less of a 'whodunit' and more investigative crime thriller.

I will say that it took me a few chapters before I caught on to what was actually happening, and the author is very talented at holding back information which would tip the book definitively over into the supernatural horror genre.  The writing is spare and beautifully descriptive. I loved Lottie (the youtube pathologist), Hilda (10 year old wunderkind), and her mum Molly (former police officer and current pub manager in the Whitechapel area where Jack the Ripper plied his gruesome trade over 100 years previously).

I'm generally not a horror fan but this one is so expertly written that it was impossible to resist. This is a talented author at the absolute top of his game.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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