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on 31 October 2002
Hutson's latest is a skilfull blending of both horror and thriller genres. Not only does the master give us, essentially, three books in one, but we're also treated to a glimpse of what he can do with a quiet room, a dark night and an unstable mind, somthing that many fans would agree has been long missed in Hutson's work.
Christopher Ward is a struggling novelist whose early success has slowly but surely run away from him. Now he spends his days working on a book that nobody wants to read, or publish, and his despondancy and general bitterness towards a literary world that doesn't seem to need him anymore sends him spiralling into madness.
Or so it seems.
Pages of his latest opus churn out from his printer, but he has no knowledge of how they came to be. Hutson's eponymous protagonist, Sean Doyle, is lent to Ward as a fiction within a fiction, and goes about his Anti Terrorist business with the now expected, nay, ubiquitous, fervour, blasting away IRA gunmen, drawing the wrath of his long suffering superiors, and even finding time to fight a few Islamic Fundamentalists along the way.
But as Doyle's imagined life spews forth from a machine that Ward is sure he turns off every night before he retires, Ward's real one is falling apart like a badly structured plot; not something that Hybrid could be accused of.
The "apparitions" come at night. The madness gestates by day. The clever locking together of each story, with Doyle hurtling along at 100 miles an hour, only to be interrupted by Ward's more sedate, but equally intriguing, plotline, means that any fan (or indeed those unlucky enough to have never read a Hutson tale) just has to read that little bit more before putting the book down.
Criticism has been levelled at Hutson in the past for his stripped down prose, but the flowery efforts of other writers in the genre just couldn't match pace with Hutson's relentless bombardment of the reader's imagination. A quick glimpse into the mind of one who has just finished one of his books would no doubt show a landscape drenched in blood, sweat and testosterone with every cell grinning like a buffoon between the still smoking bullet holes, each on the size of a man's fist, naturally.
Simply put: Simply brilliant.
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on 11 July 2003
Afte reading a number of Shaun Hutson books now, I was not surprised to find that Hybrid immediately captured me. This was instantly recognisable as a Hutson classic, due to its realism and engaging plot. Again, Hutson appears to put his heart and soul into this novel, which is full of exaggerated descriptive text, something I have come to expect from Hutson and become accustomed to. Hutson is truly a master in his genre.
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on 8 August 2002
The return of Sean Doyle...
In the past, people have accused Shaun of boycotting horror in favour of writing thrillers. With Hybrid, I think he's pleased everyone by skillfully covering both areas.
The book itself consists of two stories - Sean Doyles re emergance and a struggling writers nightmare. The two work side by side perfectly, just as you reach a pivitol point of one story, your attention is drawn to another which is equally as thrilling.
I love (and always have loved) the way the books are broken down into short chapters, this adds to the flow of the book. Each chapter is like a shot of good scotch, before you know it you've drunk half the bottle!
Thanks again Shaun for a good story, this is one of the best in my opinion. As always, can't wait for the next one.
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on 13 May 2003
Shaun Hutson is back with a bang and his latest offering is his best for a while. The book is about Christopher Ward,(based on Hutson himself at a guess) a washed up author whose publishers have abondoned him. Ward turns to drink, and all but gives up on his current novel. Mysteriously, Ward's book is still being written but by who?
This book is superb. U can actually read Ward's book which is Hutson's latest Sean Doyle offering. Another cut and thrust action novel where Doyle deals with the problems still facing Northern Ireland and the Good Friday agreement.
Hutson's novel with another novel works very well, and you'll want to know the end of both stories! All in all, an essential addition to your shopping basket!
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on 3 June 2003
This is the first Shaun Hutson novel I have ever read, so I cannot compare it to any others written by him. I found the novel both amazed me and terrified me at the same time, and I totally loved the way Shaun wrote the novel in such a way that I couldn't wait to get onto the next chapter (in most cases only two or three pages from the previous one). The whole idea that you are reading a novel within a novel to me was total genius, and it has the most unexpected ending I could ever have imagined. I also learned so much within this book about things that I'm not sure I should talk about within a review. I loved the whole concept of the book and I would love to see other reviews of this novel by readers that have read other Shaun Hutson titles.
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on 27 September 2004
Well Mr Hutson I've read every single book you've ever written and I can safely say that this was the worse thing ever. What on earth was going on ?? Hopefully thats the bad book out of the way and you can continue writing quality horror books. Had all the potential of being a really decent story but to write a story regarding one of my favourite characters (Doyle) within a really shoddy and backless story really didn't go down too well. Should have just written the Doyle story and left it there.
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on 7 February 2004
I felt that the fact this book contained a story within a story, did not help it to 'gel'. I have read other books along this line, i.e the main character is a book writer and his book appears within the storyline, but it has been done a lot better. The book hardly refers to the main character at all in the first half of the book and the one chance that Shaun Hutson had to build some real fear factor into the book (when the main character finds excrement in his back garden with what appears to be a human tooth in it) is not followed through to any conclusion. Also, the book within the book that the main character is writing is not fleshed out enough to make you really care about the characters and the story is not strong enough to stand on it's own two feet. In the second half of the boook, the story keeps swopping between the 'book' and the main character, losing any suspense that has been built up and because of this, you do not really care about makes what happens to the main character in the end of the book. I have read other books by Shaun Hutson and they have been better, but would not really recommend this one.
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on 8 May 2015
Husband loves Shaun Hutson book very pleased
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on 1 August 2002
I have always enjoyed SH novels the return of Sean Doyle was
great.
A strange book at first I wondred what was going on but once you get into the story it is hard to put the damn thing down.
very clever
very Faustian
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on 1 April 2007
I didn't want to give this book a bad review, as it was at least trying to do something different and inventive. However, the book was very badly executed, and the main storyline never takes off at all. I had precious little sympathy for the main character, and to be honest I didn't care what happened to him.

The story within a story was better, but still lacked something. If it had been written as a proper novel, it could have been quite engaging, but the necessary short length gave it a rushed feel, and the interruptions really broke the flow of the story. I think stories within stories work better when they are all told in one go, or at least in chunks larger than a few pages.

One thing I did enjoy about the novel was the ending (kindly spoiled for you by a previous reviewer - if you've not read this book yet, don't scroll down!) Its a shame this book wasn't better overall - I've never read a Hutson novel before, but I get the impression he's not a bad writer. This book just didn't work.
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