John Everson isn’t a writer I’ve come across before. In fact, I only stumbled across him when I was browsing a list of cheap books for my Kindle. He’s apparently written half a dozen or so novels and loads of shorts. He is well regarded, and I can see why.
I don’t want to give away the plot, so as a very brief overview ‘The 13th’ centres around a remote building which has been turned into an asylum.
I prefer my horror supernatural, so this isn’t the sort of story I’d normally choose to pick up (although, in fairness, there is a supernatural element). However, I was soon drawn in; Everson has an easy way with words and can characterise without description. He does use a lot of characters, and with most writers there would be a danger they would become indistinguishable. However, Everson is good enough to give each their own strong and distinctive voice and I found myself caring about each one – even the bad guys.
There is a lot of graphic and sexual violence. Despite that not really being my thing, this was gripping and the blood was very much in context and part of the plot.
Perhaps my only major gripe was the plot disappearing into backstory for a chapter there quarters of the way through, which seemed to butt in. Other than that, I’m trying very hard to think of any negatives, but can’t. I guess this has to get five out of five, then.
Oh, and I loved the ending.