It has certainly been an interesting journey with regard to the writing outputs of Matthew Cash. A couple of his earlier short works had feet firmly planted in the more extreme end of the horror genre. Then one day I came across ‘Illness’ and ‘Hell and Sebastian’; two stories that showed Mr Cash might have a little more in his armoury.
‘Pinprick’ is his debut novel, released by Knightwatch Press. It is a horror story, though it tends to lean further towards the supernatural end of the genre. Shane, now a politician, returns back to the sleepy village of Brantham-a town where many years ago a strange occurrence resulted in the disappearance of his friends but unusually leaving Shane with no recollection of the events.
His return to Brantham goes down like a lead balloon, not only because of the disappearances but also because of his acquired wealth and the chain of events that occurred after he had left.
‘Pinprick’ is an accomplished novel, Cash’s time spent working on short stories has seen a quick progression in his writing, with characters becoming fully realized and an atmosphere of growing unease developing stronger and stronger as the novel progresses. The story glitters between present day and the past. This works well and although things don’t fall into place until later in the book it is something that I enjoyed. Having been brought up in a small village I found myself recognizing familiar traits from the locals. Shane is seen as an outsider when he returns and has very few allies, most people choosing to talk quietly behind his back, speculating that he is a murderer.
The pacing is quite slow going early, though the lack of information regarding what happened all those years ago encourages you to keep on reading. A satisfyingly unusual ending works well and I enjoyed the frightening appearance of the one called ‘ The Whistler’
‘Pinprick’ is a good debut novel. A tiny bit pedestrian in the pacing early on but an engaging story from a writer that I am expecting great things from in the future. Recommended for those who like supernatural horror stories.
You can pick up a copy of ‘Pinprick’ from here.