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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Garbage Man - Joseph D'Lacey

There's something distinctly British about this book and it took me a few chapters to pin it down. I think it's in the mood of the story: browned off but not too blatant with it. In any case, Garbage Man is a great piece of British horror fiction that details the connected story between a number of characters living in Shreve - an Anywhere, UK town complete with bored teens, nosy neighbours...and a very large landfill site. At first, this connection is disparate and the number of characters introduced within the first section might be off putting. Stick with it and you're in for a treat of adult horror. D'Lacey doesn't shy away from the seedy side of life or the things people do when they think nobody's looking. Nor does he shy away from violence. I won't go into too much detail at the risk of spoiling the story. It's enough to say I found it refreshing that not all of those you'd expect to automatically survive a horror story do so.

It's also worth mentioning the gradual build to the main bulk of the story. Again, this could be off putting to readers wanting a quick fix of action, gore and general unpleasantness. You don't have to look too deep to see the real unpleasantness comes from the inhabitants of the town and from their secrets, not from physical horror straight from the first page.

The only downsides were few. I would have liked more exploration of a character who has interests which would stop him taking his computer to PC World, and a part of the end felt rushed to me, but otherwise, this is a fine book.

In short: original and creepy. Just don't be surprised if you want to have a wash after you've finished it.

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