Bricks and slaughter
Release Date: 2 April 336 pages | Paperback/ ebook Author: Shaun Hutson Publisher: Caffeine Nights
Godfather of gore Shaun Hutson has been penning novelisations for Hammer since 2010. Monolith marks a welcome return to his own material.
The Crystal Tower is a new sight on London’s skyline – a glittering glass and concrete edifice that should be a real estate hot ticket, but is blighted by mysterious accidents. People die in falling elevators or get skewered by rogue forklifts. Journalists Jess and Alex investigate, but are plunged into danger when they uncover a sinister secret.
Monolith resides happily within the cosy- horror subgenre. That’s not a slight – this is a decent tale, well- told – but there’s a familiarity to the plot and the way that Hutson’s no- nonsense prose cuts to the chase.
There’s also an unexpected element of political commentary. As people drop in the tower, it’s hard not to think of the 400+ Nepalese construction workers who have died since Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup. As several characters remark here, the life of a foreign labourer is very cheap.
There are occasional Garth Marenghi moments where the author’s voice bleeds through into the interior monologues – a scene where someone dismisses “insipid” R& B in favour of Hutson’s pals Iron Maiden is particularly amusing. And his dialogue- heavy prose isn’t as artful as, say, Adam Nevill or Christopher Fowlers’s. But as gory easy- reads go, Monolith is very enjoyable. Will Salmon The book also has a bonus short story: “Jingle Bells”, a Christmas tale with a predictable – but amusing – punchline.