“THE HORRIBLES” (Book Review)

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Originally posted at Fangoria.com on November 7, 2010

From Grindhouse Press, THE HORRIBLES by Nathaniel Lambert (pictured) is a suspenseful tale about a lone man’s violent battle against pure evil. A rising green mist signals the arrival of a motorcycle gang from hell, and no one is safe as the savage bikers roar into the town of Poe’s Creek.

Sheldon Delaney was just a child when his parents were murdered before his eyes, and survivor’s guilt has left him emotionally numb and painfully depressed. Years of therapy have failed to calm his traumatized nerves, and Sheldon has become a prisoner in his own body. He is deeply afraid to step outside his childhood home, terrified that his parents’ killer is still waiting for him.

The empty household has become an impenetrable fortress, which Sheldon regularly fortifies to keep anyone from getting in. The interior hasn’t changed since the murders, and as a grown man, he has embraced his solitude. His only friend is the postman—another outcast with a handicap. The mail is Sheldon’s only communication with the outside world—which is how he first finds out about an annual motorcycle parade. Then the long string of hogs roar past his house, waking Sheldon in the middle of the night and opening a terrible wound in his mind. He has previously forced himself to forget, but now he fully remembers the day of the murders—and realizes what’s really hiding behind the helmets of the mysterious riders. Behind their getup lie pig-faced beasts with steel teeth. Black oil bubbles from their putrid mouths and oozing tentacles writhe underneath the leather jackets.

These demonic creatures, known to Sheldon as the Horribles, have arrived to kidnap the children of Poe’s Creek, with thick black clouds hovering over their carnage. During the heavy rainstorm, Sheldon stumbles upon a slaughterhouse, seeing the bloodsoaked streets littered with corpses. He has repeatedly told himself that there is nothing waiting for him outside his home but pain and suffering—but as he hesitantly leaves his comfort zone, he discovers he is the only one left alive to save the children.

Lambert creates a solemn character study of a self-trapped, lonely man who could have easily come across as a creepy shut-in agoraphobic. Instead, the author depicts a heartbroken child forced to grow up without his loving parents, and his writing grabs your attention from the first sentence and never lets go. THE HORRIBLES is ghoulish fun, a short and quick read that estabishes and sustains a gut-wrenching mood until the very last page. The novel can be ordered from Grindhouse’s official website.