Book review: The Green and the Black – William Meikle

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William Meikle comes up trumps again with this hugely satisfying short novel of creepy folk horror.

The Green and the Black features a couple of familiar horror tropes, but never does it feel tired as books with these tropes often can. We have mysterious diary extracts that speak of strange green-eyed “wee folk” that linger outside a mine, a series of strange wood-woven objects keep appearing and a strange infection that is spreading all too easily causing some peculiar and unsettling conditions among the mine visitors.

I always have a blast with Mr Meikle’s books and The Green and the Black is no different. What’s more disturbing than the pitch black darkness of a mine? Very little, in my opinion. Added to the fact that I’m a huge fan of horror tales featuring creepy diary extracts and I knew I was in for a good time. The Green and the Black is a little bit of a slow burn initially but Meikle gives the reader enough to question for them to keep turning the pages. In fact, it’s a very evenly and expertly paced novel. It doesn’t reveal its secrets too early, instead, it draws you into the mine and the myth and builds upon the early unease. As things progress, the horror levels increase. The infection at the centre of this tale is quite bizarre but also deeply disturbing. The novel rumbles along towards steadily towards the gripping final act which is truly excellent. Sometimes diary extracts and such can only succeed in taking the reader out of the story…not so here, Meikle uses these extracts to add further layers of dread and worry. They are brilliantly woven through the story.

With a cast of sympathetic characters and a fantastically original infection, The Green and the Black is another fine addition to the Meikle catalogue. Fans of folk horror, body horror would do well to invest in this fine, fine book.

4/5 splinters from the Grim Reader.

Pick up a copy from here.

When you have finished reading this perhaps listen to…

Realms of Eternal Decay by Outer Heaven: 2018 has been a great year for death metal. In fact, I’d go as far to say it’s been one of the best in recent memory with strong releases from acts such as Revocation, Horrendous, Aborted and this nasty little number from Outer Heaven. With riffs as thick as tree trunks and vocals dredged up from a seemingly bottomless pit (or a mine), Realms of Eternal Decay is sure to give you nightmares. Dig it!

 

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