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Book Review

Book Cover

Silverweed Road


Author: Simon Crook
Publisher: Harper Voyager
330 pages
RRP: £9.99
ISBN: 978 0 00 847997 8
Publication Date: 14 September 2023

Harper Voyager publishes Silverweed Road, by Simon Crook. This is a once quiet suburban street wherein a different horror lies behind every door – all linked to the bizarre darkness and evil in the woods. The tales relate to a predatory swimming pool; a deadly game of cat and mouse with a jackdaw; a revengeful haunted urn; an ancient gold ring seeking sacrifices when it is removed from its original location; a darts player making a pact with the devil – and many others. There is also an underlying theme of loss, loneliness, obsession, greed and revenge. Simon Cook has been a film journalist for over 20 years, visiting sets and interviewing people both in front and behind the camera for Empire Magazine. He is described as a new and exciting voice in literature. The neighbours will be dying to meet you – in both senses of the word...

I like the idea of separate horror stories being linked by one location; however, what I don’t like is that the reader is required to invest so long into the book before there is anything but the slightest evidence of a connecting factor. Detective Chief Inspector Jim Heath notes a few comments between each story, but we don’t actually learn anything about what we have just digested – only that these cases were never solved. Some of the stories are a little drawn-out, such as the opener, whereas others are more taught and enjoyable. It would have been an improvement, I believe, if the slightest snippet or hint of the connected evil was revealed in the first or second story and then that knowledge was incorporated exponentially into subsequent tales – so that the stakes become increasingly higher.

There are some decent ideas here, even though there is little sense of menace or atmosphere. In horror, ‘style’ creates chills and thrills, suspense, anticipation, eeriness, etc. Just look at John Carpenter’s excellent original Halloween film and compare it to some of the lacklustre ‘hack and slash’ sequels. The reader also needs to relate in a sense to the characters, or s/he just doesn’t care if they live or die. As Silverweed Road is an early enterprise in Crook’s fiction writing, I’m certain it will be no time at all before the writer finds his feet.


Ty Power

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