After reading the first two stories in the latest collection by Adam Nevill, I knew I was onto something special (again!). Hasty for the Dark is a collection of Nevill’s more recent short story offerings and firmly cements the man’s standing as one of dark fictions truly great writers. Opening story On All London Underground Lines perfectly captures the suffocating atmosphere of the capitals underground rail system as a man finds himself constantly confronted with cancellations on his commute to work. This isn’t the only problem, though. The underground houses some disturbing apparitions and characters just to make the journey even more chilling. The Angels of London reminds me a little of Nevill’s earlier novel, No One Gets Out Of Here Alive. It is the tale a mans desperate existence in which he hopelessly ambles through the day with nothing to look forward to and no escape from his cringeworthy landlord (and whatever lurks on the top floor!). Again, there is a deeply unsettling atmosphere that cloaks this story. It is a memorable tale and the ending is quite superb. It’s a case of what goes around, comes around in the next story as a taxi driver gets a peculiar job one night. Little does he know that the past will come back to haunt him.
As we delve deeper into Nevill’s collection we arrive at a superb story called Hippocampus. If you can imagine a found-footage film but in story form, then you will be able to connect the idea behind this original and high quality tale. All we have is the word of an unreliable narrator as he stumbles around an abandoned ship discovering scenes of horrific, terror-filled carnage. This is definitely one of my favourite stories inside this stunning collection.
As with Adam’s first collection of horrors released last year, Hasty for the Dark is yet another example as to why Adam Nevill is held in such high-regard both within writing circles and with the book-buying public. His stories weave their way inside of your head and plant seeds of doubt and terror. He is a master of creating oppressive, creepy atmospheres and of taking your imagination to places you would rather he didn’t. Nevill is in a class of his own. I love, love, love this book.
Hasty for the Dark is a terrifying and varied collection of dark fiction, bringing together the best of Nevill’s more recent shorter works and it is perfect for reading this Halloween.
5/5 bad dreams from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.