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Book Review: Soul Masque by Terry Grimwood

“A fast, slick, tautly-told tale!”

Soul Masque Terry GrimwoodSpectral Press’ tenth chapbook begins at the story’s end and ends at its beginning, introducing along the way four damaged or damaging protagonists whose lives connect in the course of the tale: dominatrix Sian, burned-out priest turned junkie Jon, his helper and lover Meg, and unwilling assassin Rennie.

All four have been pressed into service in the endless war between Heaven and Hell. They’re on the side of the angels, represented by the hulking, enigmatic Singer. But Heaven is as cruel and unforgiving a master as Hell, and when one of the angels makes a mistake, it sets in motion a chain of events that will affect all of them.

Grimwood weaves a fast, slick, tautly-told tale. It’s a glimpse of a well-imagined dark world, told in crisp, clear, lyrical prose. Despite its brevity the characters come through, clear and colourful, and they stay with you – no mean feat given the comparatively large cast for so short a story.

There’s a lot going on in Soul Masque, and the pace, the world and the characters are all engaging enough that you want more. There may even be enough material for a novel here (in which case, let’s hope Grimwood writes it) but in the meantime, Soul Masque is a fast, absorbing read – one you’ll want to return to again.

SIMON BESTWICK

Publisher: Spectral Press:
Paperback(28pp)


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