Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Black Mountain by Simon Bestwick - a review

Charles Dickens used to do it, Stephen King did it with The Green Mile and now Simon Bestwick and Spectral Press are doing it with 'Black Mountain'. The 'it' in question is the serialised chap book - a story released in parts at regular intervals. When done right this idea can work really well and thankfully Mr Bestwick seems to have got it spot on.

The story itself (in 11 parts) is an interesting blend, and possibly not something I have come across before (and I like things that up the ante a little), the best way I can think of to describe it would be 'Blair Witch Project in book form' I guess but maybe that doesn't quite do it justice.

The general gist of the story is that Simon Bestwick  (the author tells the tale as a real document) is called to a psychiatric hospital on behalf of an old colleague Rob Markland, now a patient there. Markland has been studying events and occurrences in an area of Wales known as 'The Bala Triangle' and centring on The Black Mountain itself. Whatever he discovered has led him to either a breakdown or madness but before things got too bad he put all his documents together and now it is up to Simon to go through them and find out what happened and what if anything can be done to help his old friend. The following episodes cover the items in the documents from back in Roman times right up to the final expedition by Markland himself. Each part of the tale is by turn creepy, suspenseful and horrific, just the thing to keep you watching eagerly for the next episode to appear on Amazon.

I said at the beginning it was similar in style to something like The Blair Witch Project, that reference was mainly because the bulk of the story is told from the documents read, video files watched etc. but I am going to go a step further and say The Blair Witch Project written by H P Lovecraft. Horror as it should be - the kind that sticks in your mind and keeps you coming back for more. The only real disappointment is that, now, the story is over. But oh, what a story it was. Simon Bestwick could well be one of the best British horror writers around today and Spectral Press have done a grand job on putting his story out. Keep an eye on both.......I know I will

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

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