Review LOST GIRL by Adam Nevill

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I remember feeling emotionally exhausted reading Adam Nevill’s last offering No One Gets Out Alive (NOGOA hereafter) which put me through the wringer almost much as the main character in the novel.  But being a fan of Adam Nevill’s work, I found myself coming back for more with his latest offering, LOST GIRL.

There’s something that makes me deeply uncomfortable about the subject matter here and (surely every parents worst nightmare) is confronted head on with a desperate man, referred to as “The Father” in the book, searching relentlessly for his missing, abducted daughter in a near-future world ravaged by climate change, socioeconomic breakdown and the world on the brink of collapse.

I’ve long been an admirer of Adam Nevill’s skill at characterization. What he achieved in The Ritual and NOGOA, he achieves again with a desperate, chilling, and at times heartbreaking tale of a man whose love for(and sheer will) to firstly locate, then try and recover his daughter two years after she was taken has descended into almost relentless obsession.

The book is well researched too, with a believable portrayal of how our future in 2053 may look. You could make the case that that future is already upon us in some aspects which gives the story a horrible sense of realism and foreboding. The tipping point of law and order breaking down on a planet being slowly strangled to death by climate change and food shortages.  The never ending herd of soulless refugees roaming like nomads from now unlivable places, seeking sanctuary and shelter elsewhere in overcrowded UK Cities and Towns. Then there’s the violent gangs, child/women sex traffickers, all too happy to take advantage of lax, overstretched and ineffective policing.  It’s bandit country in the truest sense of the phrase, where the weak get chewed up and spat out and the morally abhorrent prosper and thrive.

The Father” cuts a desperate figure, a truly ordinary man, asked to step well beyond his boundaries and limitations and brave some pretty terrifying places where those without conscience or any shred of humane morality lurk. His journey is physically and emotionally shattering and Nevill does a great job of keeping us right there in the passenger seat with him for the whole ride. This is a man changed forever as a result of the abduction, whatever the outcome of his search, and a man prepared to step off the precipice into a black pit that he can’t see the bottom of, for the love of his daughter and the hope that she is still alive.

 

I caught a vibe of the recent Mini-Series The Missing here, which had a similar theme and I saw the same obsessive element of the child’s father, (played beautifully by James Nesbitt) in “The Father“. With the near future setting of LOST GIRL , I felt placed somewhere between Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and also the near-future vision presented in Alfonso Cuaron’s film, Children of Men. 

LOST GIRL is another tour de force from Adam Nevill and in some ways; I feel, represents a premonition of things to come, which gave the novel an even greater impact and resonance long after I had finished it.

Highly Recommended.

Jonathan Wood

Launch of Strange Days Press

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting my own publishing imprint for some time and after some consideration and consultation with others, I’ve decided to go for it.

I’m delighted to say that my baby “Strange Days Press” will soon be up and running and will publish my novella The Locked Room which  I hope will go to market around November of this year.

I’m well aware of the pitfalls of the self-publishing industry and indeed some of the stigma that surrounds it, however I feel I have a decent business model in place for the imprint and my intention is to work with professional, quality editors, artists and formatting service providers to produce good quality products both in print and digital formats.

My writing mojo has discovered a little bit of a second wind lately and I feel passionate enough about the new material I’m writing to go ahead with this. Whilst it is a lot of work and I’m sure there’ll be some bumps along the way, it’s also an exciting project for me to focus on.  Through Strange Days Press, my aim is to give my work the best possible independent platform it can have.

If the Press is successful and grows, it may well be the case I can work with other authors in the future, too.  But for the moment, I will not be accepting submissions from authors.

I currently have a website under construction for the Press which will launch within the near future.

That’s it for now and thanks for stopping by my blog.

Jonathan

 

 

The Locked Room and other things

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Since just before the Christmas break, I began working on a new novella which I have had plotted out for quite some time.  With the working title The Locked Room I hope to have it finished by late summer and ready to go to market by the end of the year both as paperback and kindle editions.  There will be a limited number of signed copies also.

The Locked Room is without question the most ambitious piece of work I’ve attempted thus far and it’s certainly proving to be a testing challenge.

Additionally, I have to be a little coy right now, but I hope to have some other news within the next few months regarding my work.  Something I feel quite excited about.

Finally, I have decided to step back from being so active on social media and limit my posts to mainly promote my writing and that of some of my peers with recommendations and reviews.  In short, I felt I needed to step back from the distracting and often irritating white noise of social media.  I trimmed a number of connections on Facebook and should you have found yourself “unfriended”, it’s certainly nothing personal.  If you are interested in still following my work, please do add me again and I’ll be only too happy to connect with you.  I truly value the interest and support.

That’s it for now, but I’ll post more in the near future on The Locked Room and other projects I have in the mix.

Best wishes for 2016 from me.

/Jonathan

 

 

 

 

The Road Ahead…

It’s been a wcreepy-ghost-wallpaperhile since I posted here and I’m slowly grinding away at the current projects I have on my desk. I recently completed a short tale titled “White Faces” and I’m currently running this through it’s final polishing and beta tests.  I attempted something a little different with this story and it’s a little bit left of field from my usual style.

I am also on the lookout for a suitable anthology for my short tale “Crawlers” which is now the finished article.  Regrettably, I haven’t seen the right opportunity for this pulpy tale of a man being driven crazy by the infestation of strange looking cockroaches that try to overrun his apartment.

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I still have two novellas in the mix, (Working titles“The Locked Room” and “Wish” and also my debut novel “Dark Places”). I have labelled July 2016 as a final completion date for the novellas.

My sincere hope is to find a home for these as well as my completed short tales, going forward. After a very difficult year, I’m regaining some hope and confidence in my writing.  And right now, that’s all I can ask for.

Jonathan

Kiss and Tell makes a comeback.

I noticed recently that my little non-horror tale of noir Kiss and Tell had it’s initial “R” rating at Wattpad changed to “Mature” and made not available to the public!

Why changing the rating and then immediately censoring the story anyway is beyond me, however Kiss and Tell still lingers and is available as a free PDF below.  I always intended Kiss and Tell to be a free story, so here it is.

When arrogant office worker Nick Hagan agrees a silly bet with beautiful, red headed bombshell and co-worker Naomie Neary that even she could not bed the anti-social office nerd, events take an unexpected turn

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False-Starts, Arseholes and the Green Eyed Monster in Gothenburg

I haven’t posted on my blog for a while and that’s for a multitude of reasons.

Despite a promising start to 2015, this year has plummeted for me personally and had a serious knock on effect to my writing.    Because of other issues, my writing projects have suffered greatly to the point that I haven’t been emotionally or physically well enough to pursue doing something I really enjoy-writing.   I seem to be rubbing shoulders with a lot of arseholes in my daily life, too whether that be in a physical sense or on social media.   I seem to magnetically attract arseholes.    Thankfully I attract some nice people too, and they make the arseholes bearable.   It’s the only reason I still persist with social media, to be quite frank.

Not being able to write has made me angry, fucking angry, and bitter too.  Jealous of my peers, which is stupid, and selfish when you know first hand the hard work that they put in to make their stories and novels happen.  I suppose it’s not their success that’s given me the green eyed monster, it’s just the hurt and fear that I carry around like a bag of bricks that I’ll never write again, myself.   Which at the moment, is how it feels.

I’ve developed a kind of blind terror, too.  An almost acidic reaction to the prospect of sitting down and writing, even though I have a few projects I’m enthusiastic about and feel they could be something worth writing and stories worth telling.    Despite the pep talks, the good advice and the kind words, I still worry I’m shite and can’t deliver the goods as an author.  It hurts. A lot.

I’m thankful for my friends, I don’t have so many good friends and some of them have been there for me over the last few months.  If you’re reading this then you know who you are. And thank you. Truly.

A month on holiday was just what I needed to try and take stock and get a little perspective and I’m happy to say I feel better.    Although a part of me feels like jacking in writing, something is making me hesitate.   Maybe it’s my stubbornness, maybe I’m just fucking stupid and in denial.  Who knows.

All I know is, I’m not yet ready to chuck in the towel.   Something lingers.  The battery hasn’t died completely and I wonder if I just give it a minute and then try turning over the engine again, if it will fire up.

I guess time will tell.