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King of all the Dead

by Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis

(Telos Publishing, £8.00, 120 pages, paperback, published 2003.)

King of all the Dead is another in the impressive range of original horror novellas to come from Telos Publishing, this one with the prestigious writing team of Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis. I have read a few of Steve and Paul's works before and found them quite enjoyable, so had certain expectations with this book.

Lisa Morgan, fresh from tragic car events with her boyfriend, is out walking with her sister when they come across a van hidden in the depths of a forest. With the smell of fumes everywhere, they soon discover there is an occupant -- trying to attempt suicide ... it's when they eventually save his life that all hell breaks loose.

King thrives on its great descriptive accounts (most of them very, very gory) -- one of the expectations I have come to have when picking up a Lockley and Lewis product. This is notable where, in the hospital, Lisa Morgan encounters the corpse, the detail used making meeager to read on. However, for the most part the plot of this book isn't all that 'grabbing'. To an extent it is a very good read and a very traditional horror story but I don't think there really is enough here for Lewis and Lockley to develop a fully fledged horror book.

For me, King is far too slow. I often found that the plot was simply not going anywhere and halfway through the book it really felt as if I was still somewhere nearer the beginning.

With some of my above points considered I'm sure they'd be a real winner here but I'm sorry to say that for me, it left me wanting that bit more out of it.

Review by Andy K Kitching.

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