Fancy a short shot of horror? I have two books to recommend to you.
In Broken Sigil by William Meikle Joe Connors is a cop who is called to investigate the death of his friend, Johnny Provan. Connor’s investigations soon unearth an affair between his friend and his late wife and when he visits the rooming house where Provan was living he begins to suspect that there are darker forces at work than just betrayal.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers but if you can imagine the love child of Stephen King and Micky Spillane what you come up with might look a lot like this wonderfully dark, noir-esque horror. Meilkle offers hints of other worlds, human gatekeepers and the all important symbolism of the Maltese Falcon. A lovely, traditional horror I stayed awake to finish.
Marrow’s Pit by Keith Deininger is a very different beast. Ballard works, lives and serves the Machine – the mechanism which is his world. Like a giant steampunk creation in a future world where citizens have been told that ‘outside’ is no longer able to sustain life. In flashback we are shown Ballard’s relationship with his father and how he and his wife Laura, a cold and heartless woman, met.
There is much in this book to remind us of other stories: Logan’s Run was the first to come to mind but then ending came as a shock and was not at all what I was expecting. The ending initially struck me as quite depressing but after some thought I realised that ‘up’ depends on what direction you are facing. A great read.