And after a 6 week hiatus, it's a BOOK REVIEW.

Y'all must be so excited.

Bad Things by Michael Marshall.

Michael Marshall has written one great books (The Straw Men) though possibly (In my opinion), two (The Lonely Dead).  Everything else has been the kind of hit/miss smorgasbord that means I'll never actually seek out one of his novels but if I'm hard up for something to read, will check out his newest.

He's really great at starting books; throwing interesting characters at you, setting up horrific dilemmas, creating bizarre and engrossing mysteries that hook you, draw you in and then during the second act reveal the novel to be science fiction.  Or fantasy.  Or supernatural horror.  His recent reliance on this kind of deus ex machina has let me down as it gives him an easy way out from having to follow through with his really amazing set ups and by the third act, his last two books have used this to essentially cop out of something really great.

It was with this expectation that I went into Bad Things and, while it certainly was better at incorporating the sci-fi/supernatural stuff and engaging with the real world, it also felt kind of boring.  The second act just seemed to drag and I think that if 100 pages were shaved off, the book would tell a nasty little story of a man haunted by the sudden death of his son who returns to the quiet village where it happened and discovers the secrets of it's dark past.

The thing is, Michael Marshall has it in him to write really great thrillers I hope that soon he'll find his stride.  Overall, the entire book played like a humourless season of The League of Gentlemen.