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.
Two couples decide to go on a holiday to the small town of Roxton, in Derbyshire. However, the town holds a deadly secret, dating back to an accident, in the local mine, twenty years previously.
I found this book a reasonably good read, but not much happens in it, until towards the end, but you do get a feeling from the start that the town is peculiar, and this allows the suspense to build up. However, when things really start to happen, the two couples (who were quite believable up until this point), start to make some fairly improbable choices. I would not class this book as a page turner, but was fairly good.
Shaun Hutson is one of the kings of pulp horror fiction. In Twisted Souls the story is derivative and unoriginal, a sleepy village town hiding a sinister secret. No marks for originality with plot, although Hutson excels himself with a cringe worthy miasma of horror. The scenes in Twisted Souls are very twisted indeed, far harder then in most of his work. Overall, the short and simple yarn is an easy read and keeps your interest until the somewhat predictable end.
I don't know what happened but after finishing this novel you get the feeling that half of it was edited out before publication. As one of the earlier reviewers noted there are a few chapters involving mysterious goings on which never get resolved. A couple of chapters involve a character lusting after his step daughter for no apparent reason - these pieces never lead anywhere and don't really appear to have any purpose at all in relation to the story. They're just there.. possibly to pad out the page count? Maybe, one day, we'll see the uncut version of this novel but it will hardly be worth it. Shaun's been peddling the same Hungarian goulash for the past twenty odd years and long may he continue.. despite this novel being a bit of a dud, I can recommend his following novel DYING WORDS - a good return to form.
When my wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I asked for Twisted Souls, and had to wait 2 weeks befour I could open, and read it. I'm sorry to say it wasn't worth the wait. Half of the book in and you fill as if the stories about to explode, and just when you think your about to get a tipical Hutson blood bath, nothing happens. As with all Hutson books the author has a excellent nack of finishing each chapter with a fill of suspence, and antisipation. The build up of the charactors, both main and secondary, was written well, but the ending in the mine and evil Roman 'God' did't hit my spot. Could of had more blood and gutts, but would not put me of buying another Hutson book.
I have been a fan of Hutson for well over 16 years now and am very sad to see his standards continue to fall. This book is very flat, no thrills, no twists, nothing to enjoy. Plot is mundane, pace is listless, seems like he is just going through the motions and picking up the checks nowadays. Do yourself a favour, go out and buy Assassins, a vintage Hutson classic, and see for yourself what a great author he used to be.
Shaun Hutson has certainly matured as a writer since his earlier works such as Erebus (recently re-released in hardback.) This is quite slow moving to begin with but launches itself with Hutsons usual bloodthirsty ferocity at roughly the halfway point. Not for the timid, but fans will love this one. As will fans of Robert mcmahon (bethanys sin) stuart vowell (lucifer wars)as comparable horror writers.