Saturday, 30 June 2012

Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

This is the story of an ancient evil. Three hundred years previously Thessaly Cross was condemned to death for being a witch. Despite many attempts to kill her, she remained alive. Eventually Preacher Fell decided to bury her alive. Then she set the field on the townspeople, many were killed that day and in desperation the Preacher impaled himself on her broomstick and she pulled him down into the soil with her. Fast forward three hundred years and Maddy Harker is fed up of being constantly abused by her husband Vic, so she murders him with a frying pan. She buries him in the field where Thessaly's remains lay. Three days later he comes back, a monster born of hatred, soil and bone. Now the town is in trouble as Vic proclaims himself the Straw King, the Tatterdemon, commanding an army of zombie scarecrows. Thus begins the ancient battle of evil versus good, and all the while Thessaly is plotting and waiting....

I am a little worried about this review. Not because I hated the book, far from it, I loved it. I am worried anything I say will not do it justice! To me reading it felt like a classic Stephen King (think The Stand) with some vintage Richard Laymon thrown in. I was gripped from page one. The battle of good against evil is a timeless one but the idea of zombie scarecrows was both different and brilliant. It was tense in places, gory in others but it also had a lot of tongue in cheek humour thrown in. Some scenes really cracked me up. I have read Steve's work before and he never fails to disappoint, this being no exception. Trust me when I say this is a this is out of the ball park and a home run!

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