>The Caretakers by Adrian Chamberlin


I love discovering a new talent, especially when that new talent is starting out in their career.  Prior to reading Ade’s début novel, I had only read two of his short stories W is for War Pigs in the M is for Monster collection and The Bodymen, from The Spectrum Collection. Both stories were among the highlights of both collections, so there was with a little bit of trepidation when settling down to give this book a read, before it’s official launch on the 28th Apr. Could Adrian make the leap from the short story form to a full blown novel?

As a Cambridge College celebrates a midwinter feast, four uninvited strangers uncover a devastating secret. A secret that must never be revealed…for the love of humanity.

Andy Hughes – a man with a dark past and an even darker future. His search for a missing student will lead him to a confrontation with an evil beyond human imagining…
Rob Benson – a van driver who discovers a dead wild boar in the back of his Transit. A boar that just won’t stay dead…
Jennifer Callaby – Andy’s estranged girlfriend, who discovers the shocking truth of The Caretakers – and the sacred task that they perform…
Jason Franklin – a prisoner who holds the key to the fates of them all, and may well be their only salvation – if he doesn’t destroy them first…
A disturbing thriller that questions the nature of evil and the price to be paid for the continued survival of the human race – a price that for some is too great to pay…
THE CARETAKERS – a Master’s Degree in terror.

Oh god yes he did.  This is one hell of a début.  The writing is assured, , and full of excellent uses of dialogue and descriptive passages, that mo belies Adrian’s relative experience.   Adrian has developed his own voice,  and style  that is firmly rooted in a wonderfully realised UK setting.  this reads like a UK novel by a UK author, and not like some American wannabee. One thing that has always struck me as strange is the glut of UK authors who try and sound American.
This novel manages to be both action packed and fast paced, as well being layered with themes such as self sacrifice, duty and twisted morals.  very few of the characters could be classed as likeable.  Andy Hughes is a  violent man, a man driven to furious rages where someone will get hurt.  in much the same way the inner circle of the college are truly despicable in what they do, however they do what they do for the good of human kind.  It’s thanks to Adrian’s talent that these themes of duty and morality  are handled in a way that is thought provoking, yet never come across as preachy or get in the way of the story.  This is one of those novels that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it. 

For those of you looking for a reference point,  this is the sort of book I wish Phill Rickman would write. a supernatural thriller that does not shy away from the supernatural element.  This is a novel that wears it’s horror heart proudly on it’s sleeve on it’s sleeve. Even the Green man makes an appearance, one of my favourite characters from mythology. 

I highly recommend getting this book when it’s officially released,  but in the mean time check out Ade’s stories in the rather excellent collections M is for Monster and the Spectrum Collection

Move over Morse there is a new force in town. 

This like the other books from DCP will not be available until they are launched at World Horror Con.  

As soon as they are released I’ll put up the purchasing links.  Get saving those pennies folks these are cracking books.


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