Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Twist or stick . . .
on 1 May 2006
For a long time now, Hutsonites have been praying that the Godfather of Gore would make a full return to his horror roots and many thought that this book would signal just that. But while it definitely nods its head in that direction, it's more slow burn supernatural chills than all out bloody horror.
The story follows two couples, both in some way disfunctional, each individual battling their own demons. They go away for a break to the sleepy town of Roxton. As you might expect though, something is rotten in the heart of Roxton and it seems to have something to do with a local mining catastrophe some years previously.
Settled in their holiday home, the Tates and the Mortons dance around their problems and each other and Hutson does a good job of creating a sense of 'walking on eggshells' in this mini-drama, which is, for the most part, more about people than screaming terror.
In one sense, this is a good thing, because one thing that Hutson has been accused of in the past is lack of characterisation - something he seems to attempt to remedy here. Unfortunately, come the end of the story, I couldn't help feel that all the 'horror' was kept for the end rather than spread effectively through the narrative. There are also a series of interludes involving secondary characters whose purpose, obviously, is to infuse the tale with the sense of the supernatural, to give some kind of explanation when the finale comes, but at least a couple of them feel utterly, utterly pointless and unresolved at the end, almost like Hutson forgot he'd written them, or just couldn't be bother resolving them. He has done this before though - see Stolen Angels.
Without ruining the end, it feels tagged on, rushed, totally unbelievable and a bit of a let down, especially given the good job Hutson had done up to that point of making you care about some of these people - something he usually doesn't bother doing.
In conclusion, a decent enough effort from Hutson but not a patch on previous horror outings like Erebus and Relics. I am now waiting for Dying Words, which sounds like it sits much more in the horror camp. Twisted Souls is definitely worth a purchase, but don't expect to be blown away.