Sunday, 31 October 2021

Turner by Karl Drinkwater

Turner by Karl Drinkwater
Published by Organic Apocalypse in July 2015.

How I got this book:
Received as a reward for supporting the author's Kickstarter campaign

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some islands don't welcome visitors.

An isolated Welsh island seemed like the perfect escape for a convict on the run, a jilted woman, and a policeman seeking a quiet life. When the surly locals turn to murderous violence the three visitors are forced to flee together, trying to stay one step ahead of their increasingly insane pursuers.

The bad news keeps coming. There are too many to fight. There is no escape from the island. And the worst storm in years has just begun. They can only run and hide as they face a night of horror and madness. If they don't work together then none of them will live to see the light of day.

This tense survival horror novel is a homage to decades of nasty villains, scary predicaments, and bloody books and films.

I don't often read horror fiction, especially not novels with blood and chainsaws on their covers, but as it is Halloween I thought I should get into the spirit and so, finally, braved Karl Drinkwater's thriller, Turner. It's a fast-paced, exciting tale with a tense vibe that reminded me of the horror videos I tended to avoid as a teenager! I loved how Drinkwater evoked the chilling atmosphere of the isolated Stawl Island village with its decidedly unwelcoming villagers. Welsh language sentences, albeit then translated for readers, are cleverly used to increase our protagonists sense of alienation from the locals surrounding them. The deranged Lord reminded me of characters in satanic Dennis Wheatley novels (which teenage me did love) and it was fun to learn how different the real Lord and island are at the end of the book. I was relieved that there weren't too many pages that I had to read through my fingers although several scenes are seriously disturbing and my imaginings of what might be about to happen really didn't help my peace of mind. If you're not out trick or treating tonight and want a gorily scary Halloween read instead, I'd recommend getting yourself immersed into Turner.

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