The truth is over by there

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 544 pages | Pa­per­back/ Ebook

Au­thor Neil Spring

Pub­lisher Quer­cus Books

Ever looked up at the night sky and hoped to spot a fly­ing saucer? Won­dered if those strange lights might be an alien space­ship rather than a plane? Well, get ready to stare in­tently at the ground in­stead from now on, be­cause The Watch­ers makes the idea of UFOs ter­ri­fy­ing.

Set in deep­est dark­est Wales in the late ’ 70s, it packs in more un­ex­plain­able in­ci­dents than a whole sea­son of The X- Files – plus a gen­er­ous dol­lop of Cold War para­noia. Robert Wild­ing, a par­lia­men­tary re­searcher, reck­ons the Amer­i­can mil­i­tary is up to no good at a re­mote base near his child­hood home, so he sets out to in­ves­ti­gate. But the con­spir­acy he un­cov­ers would give even Mul­der night­mares.

There’s some­thing ir­re­sistible about the way each layer of the mys­tery is peeled back, and Neil Spring has a wicked turn of phrase. His de­scrip­tion of the Watch­ers – “their faces are made of shad­ows”, shud­der – is the kind of thing you re­mem­ber in the mid­dle of the night and re­ally wish you hadn’t. But the bal­ance of re­al­is­tic and supernatural ter­rors gets a bit wob­bly at times, and there’s not much in the way of char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion. Still, bonus points for find­ing another way to make Mag­gie Thatcher scary. Sarah Dobbs

There re­ally were UFO sight­ings in Broad­haven: in 1977, 14 kids re­ported see­ing a space­ship and a sil­very alien.

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