Pretty Little Dead Things by Gary McMahon

This book was highly recommended to me by my evil twin.

I started reading this book a couple of months ago whilst in the car on the way back from holiday. That was a big mistake. The start of this book builds up to a horrid and life ending car crash. I couldn’t carry on reading it in the car as it was freaking me out a bit. I do not freak out very often because of a book. Unfortunately this led to me put the book down and forget about it. Thankfully reviews for the second book in the series and the fact that it is part of my Angry Robot subscription combined to ensure I went back to it.

This is a ghost story, or not.  The main protagonist Thomas Usher has the ability to see the ‘spirits’ of people that have died and need directing to the ‘afterlife’. As you can probably gather by my use of quotes it is not that simple. I found this to be a really interesting take on what might happen when we shuffle off this mortal coil (yes I just tried to quote The Bard).

This book is not for the faint-hearted. It hits hard, holds no punches and is very discomforting at times. Using Leeds and the surrounding areas as the setting seemed an unusual choice to start with, but now I can’t imagine it having been anywhere else. The characters are strong and defined without seeming larger than life which added to the gritty realism I felt throughout the book.

As usual the Robot Overlords have provided us with some extras. The best of which is a Thomas Usher short story that just blew me away.  It was spot on, some tentacles would be the only possible improvement (tentacles improve everything).

I have just moved the second book several places up my reading list and would recommend this book to fans of horror and supernatural thrillers.



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