Bad Things by Michael Marshall – Review (Book)

Bad Things

I’ve been a fan of Michael Marshall since his science fiction days (under the name Michael Marshall Smith) and have enjoyed his transition into horror/thriller with the Straw Men series of novels.

Bad Things isn’t part of that world and is a stand alone book. And it is a very dark reading experience.

Beginning with the unexplained death of a small child who just drops dead without warning, Bad Things sets its tone early on and while there is the occasional glimpse of light this book deals with a more sinister side of life.

We then pick up with the child’s father who has tried to rebuild his life following the death and subsequent break down of his marriage. His life as a waiter by the sea is about to be turned upside down and force him back to where it all began.

Marshall’s writing style is as good as ever and his description of events is great. He has built up not only a believable town but a sense of community within the chararcters, which is excellent.

My main problem with Bad Things is the fact that it’s relentlessly bleak. I guess that’s kind of the point given the basis of the book but even so, the lighter moments are welcome in amongst the darkness.

This book certainly doesn’t match up to the Straw Men novels and while there is a decent enough story here it’s all a little bit obvious.

If you’re thinking of reading this check out his other work first and if you’re a fan already it’s worth a read but don’t expect Bad Things to match up to his other novels.

Rating: 6/10

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