Friday, 14 October 2011
Truth to tell, I've still resisted and don't own one of the magic boxes. What I have done though, is download the free Kindle for PC software onto my laptop which means I can now access the wealth of literature that's out there in the virtual world. Okay - so it's not exactly portable but I've had to give up reading on the way to work anyway after I caused that seventy three car pile-up on the A1. (Maybe if I'd been driving an automatic...)
Anyway, I'm glad I've taken the plunge (or dipped my toe in the water at least) because it's allowed me to download The Mill by Mark West.
I've sung Mark's praises on this blog before - he consistently produces high quality writing - and The Mill is another example of that quality.
It's a slow burner - as so many brilliant horror stories are - with the supernatural aspects first hinted at then gradually introduced as the story progresses. The strength of the story lies in Mark's ability to create real characters that we care about and also to tap into - and describe beautifully - their emotions.
And this is a very emotional story, dealing with loss and grief. It's a tricky thing to pull off well as there's always the risk of laying the angst on too thick and - given that this is a horror story - somehow lessening the emotional impact with an outlandish conclusion.
Mark avoids both those pitfalls in The Mill with consumate skill. The emotional content genuinely is moving and is never mawkish or sentimental and the conclusion fits in perfectly with - and is as moving as - everything that's gone before.
It's a great story and is an excellent example of there more to the horror genre than rampaging zombies. It's a classy piece of writing and you can get it here.