King of all the Dead
(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.