Necro Publications have put out some really great stuff in recent time and I am becoming a big fan of their books. The quality of content and some great looking cover art makes me a happy reader. “Beneath Ash and Bone” marks my first journey into the mind of D. Alexander Ward. I went into this not knowing a great deal about it but was looking forward to reading it after seeing some great reviews.
It is a dark tale with a terrific southern gothic flavour that drips with atmosphere. This brooding tale takes place during a harsh winter in Selburn, Virginia. The biting wind and cold is felt instantly as the narrative takes the reader on a macabre tale that follows Sheriff Sam Lock. Lock seeks to uncover the truth behind the brutal murder of a young boy, found impaled and torn apart on an estate owned by shady character Horace Crownhill. As Sam digs deeper into the disappearance, dark images begin to appear that have the sheriff questioning himself and the people that surround him.
The dark, gloomy atmosphere that is prevalent throughout is what I loved about this book. Sam is a strong lead and Mr Crownhill is a monster in the truest form. The pacing is nigh on perfect, with the story gabbing hold right from the start and not letting go until the end, this book seriously gave me the creeps. The dialogue is crisp and the supporting cast each have their own personalities. I love books that are set in harsh environments and that build a sense of dread as the story progresses. That is what this book has in spades; atmosphere. D. Alexander Ward has proved himself already as an editor and with this book it suggests he is no slouch with the pen either. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is dark, sinister and downright unforgiving in its ability to make you feel uncomfortable. If you’re looking for a nice, heart-warming read to help you sleep then perhaps you should go someplace else. What lurks beneath these pages is a demonic slice of gothic horror straight out of the top draw. “Beneath Ash and Bone” comes highly recommended from this reader.
You can get a copy of this book from here.