‘89’ by Stuart Keane is a tense psychological horror novella that ticks all of the boxes for this reader. I am already familiar with Keane’s work having read and loved ‘Cine’ – a dark tale about a cinema in a small town where the punters are often stars of the show. One thing that ‘Cine’ showed me is that Stuart Keane is an exciting writer within the horror genre. It also showed that he has a wicked imagination and isn’t afraid to take his horror to the extreme. Whilst ‘89’ isn’t extreme horror, it does have its cringe-worthy moments. The pacing is excellent in this novella about a writer (Greg) on his way to a convention in Sheffield where he hopes to shift a few books, whilst earning an extension on his current novel from his publisher.
Of course this is a Stuart Keane story so things take a turn for the worse when a super fan joins Greg on the bus. I really liked the setting of this novella and I can imagine that it is the sort of novella that was a lot of fun to write. The bus is near empty and is the perfect place for a claustrophobic tale of horror to take place. The few characters in the story are well realized, and although Greg isn’t the most likable character you do feel he doesn’t deserve what happens to him. A nice little twist at the end makes this another winner from the pen of Keane.
Those looking for a tension filled novella that is well written and original in its setting will find plenty to enjoy here. More please Mr Keane.
Pick up a copy of ’89’ from here.