Book Review: Deadlock by Tim Curran

Title: Deadl20850731ock

Author: Tim Curran

Genre: Novella, Dark Fiction, Horror

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Charlie Petty is a man known for having ice water in this veins. He never backs down and is never shaken but unfortunately stirred up into the wrong crowd. As a degenerate gambler, his luck has run out and his debt has now come due.

Charlie is offered a chance to clear his tab: simply stay alone on a ship overnight to prove to its owner and potential crew that it’s not cursed nor haunted. Never mind the ship’s history of suicide, violence, mutiny and murder. Or how the ship’s past crews have gone missing or insane. The fact that no one has set foot on deck in darkness for years doesn’t phase Charlie one bit. It sounds like easy money to bust up a superstition or two.

Charlie thinks his luck is returning. Little does he know it’s about to run out completely.

Charlie has a huge gambling debt, but fortunately he’s offered a chance to clear his debt. There’s a haunted ship lying ashore, and if he can stay in the ship durin the night, showing to the owner and potential crew, that the ship is neither haunted nor cursed, his debt will be cleared. Charlie thinks his luck is turning, but the ship has a long history of suicide, violence, murder, mutiny, and basically, every bad thing under the sun. If he’s to get out of there alive, he’ll need more than just luck.

Deadlock is another excellent piece of dark fiction by one of my favorite publishers, DarkFuse. This isn’t my first time reading a book by Tim Curran, and I doubt it’ll be the last. Tim Curran always manages to paint a grim, groomy, atmospheric and claustrophobic story that focuses on one man, one haunted ship, and the man’s descent into madness during his night on board.

It’s not as straightforward as the synopsis would want you to assume, and this novella shows that the true monster can be hidden well, and one should not always fear the ghouls crawling from one’s closet, when there are things out there more wicked than any ghoul. While atmospheric for the most part, there’s plenty of gore toward the end, with vivid descriptions that made me picture the scenes in detail (sometimes too much detail).

An excellent read, highly recommended to all horror fans.

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