Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book Review: The Nightcrawler by Mick Ridgewell

Think back to the old stories, the fairy tales and myths. The hero is approached by a man, or a woman, desperately poor and almost unimaginably ugly. They ask for something simple, maybe some bread or shelter for the night. The hero is disgusted and turns them away. When does that ever end well?

Today I will be reviewing The Nightcrawler by Mick Ridgewell. Earlier this year, I interviewed the author. Since then, the Nightcrawler has been placed on the Horror Writers Association's Stoker Reading List and recommended for the Bram Stoker Award.

 I will admit that I my experience with the horror and thriller genres begins and ends with academic work with Gothic novels so cannot make any comparisons with other works. But I can commend the storytelling which is, after all, what is most important.

My personal taste is for novels where engaging characters drive the plot, and the Nightcrawler certainly delivers there. It is a story about journeys for two men, but primarily of corporate VP Scott Randall. Despite the modern urban setting of the story, there is a deep, mythic quality to Scott's trip to L.A. It seems the spirit of Nemesis has come to visit in the form of a homeless man in Detroit. Given the current global recession, having Randall chased by the furies of the homeless does have its resonance, especially when the story unfolds from Detroit across the U.S.A.

Ridgewell carefully works up to the surreal so gradually that, like Randall, the reader has one foot in the realm of psychological terrors when the Nightcrawler is fully revealed. The chilling atmosphere is insidious. If nothing else, you'll never be able to hear the phrase 'okey dokey' quite the same again.
The Nightcrawler is available in digital formats from Barnes and Noble, Samhain Publishing, and in print and for the Kindle at Amazon.

Mick Ridgewell will be signing copies of The Nightcrawler in the upcoming months:
Mason's Haunted House of Shalom in Amherstburg. Oct. 19, 20, 26, 27, 28, and 30, from 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm. A portion of the proceeds from each book sold will be donated to the House of Shalom Youth Center.
Oct. 23rd Stars of the Game will be hosting a launch party for The Nightcrawler at 7:30.
The fine people at Stars will be serving up some tasty treats and I will have copies of The nightcrawler available.
Oct. 21st at the Caboto Club attending a fundraiser for Windsor Essex Literacy Leadership Student Program.
Dec. 2nd in Maidstone at the Windsor Essex Local Authors Book Expo at St. Mary's Hall, from 10:am - 4:00 pm.

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