Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fear Me by Tim Curran (horror novella)

Danny Palmquist is the new fish at Shaddock Valley maximum security prison. He tells his cellmate, Romero, that he's innocent, that Danny's brother committed the murder Danny was convicted of, and that if anyone bothers Danny while he's in stir, his brother will take care of it.

Romero is incredulous at first. But soon, Danny is targeted, and then the attackers die gruesomely, at night, after lockdown. And it can't be Danny because Romero, sleeping on the bottom bunk, knows Danny never left their cell.

But something else did. Something that frightens Romero like nothing ever has before. So much that he couldn't even bear to look at it.

Fear Me is the first Tim Curran book I've read after last year's The Corpse King, and I really must not leave such a gap in the future. Curran really has the chops.

He manages to seamlessly combine a darkly realistic prison setting with Lovecraftian horror, people it with believable and interesting characters, and tell it in short chapters with speedy prose. Even when I knew what was happening, Curran's skill at suspense made sure I wanted to know what would happen next. Fear Me pulled me along with its narrative force and left me satisfied but wanting to read more of this amazing author's work.

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