Look Out For… Black Mountain by Simon Bestwick
“ A mixture of old school episodic storytelling and modern techniques reminiscent of found-footage films.”
“There’s a place, out in North Wales, where things have happened. Bad things, strange things. Dark things. At the heart of it there’s a mountain, and they call it Mynydd Du: Black Mountain.
“A long time ago, I knew a guy called Rob Markland. He was a writer. He was, I suppose, a friend. Last year, I met him again; he was a patient in a psychiatric ward.
“The doctors wanted me to help them find out what had happened. I found a file of Rob’s notes. It was about Mynydd Du and what surrounded it. I read it, and I found out about Maes Carnedd and Capel Teg, Britt Nordenstam and Russell Ware. And much, much more.
“And if I was really unlucky, I’d find out what drove Rob Markland insane.
“Now it’s time to tell the tale. So turn the page. The dancers in the pines are waiting for you… on Black Mountain.”
Why we’re excited about this book: Black Mountain is an innovative reimagining of the serial novel for the Kindle generation. The story is being released in eleven monthly episodes, and as episode seven is out now, this is as good a time to dive in as any.
Of course, regardless of format, that this is a new work from Simon Bestwick, author of The Faceless, should be reason enough to capture your attention.The first episode of Black Mountain, ‘The Red Key’, is narrated by someone called… well, Simon Bestwick and at first you might be forgiven for thinking you’re reading a biographical introduction prior to the story itself, but no. ‘Simon Bestwick’ is a character who is led, via an insane former friend, to investigate the mysterious Black Mountain (or Mynydd Du to give it its Welsh name). The serial proceeds through a series of other people’s stories told in various documents and footnotes, creating a story within a story structure. This mixture of old school episodic storytelling and modern techniques reminiscent of found-footage films means you’ll finish each episode of Black Mountain wanting more… but have to wait a month to get it. That Simon Bestwick, what a tease. And yes, we mean the real one.
This book will appeal to: the descendants of those readers who used to wait at the harbour side for the next episode of Oliver Twist to be unloaded from the boat.
Look Out For… Ceremony Of Flies by Kate Jonez
Two petty criminals find themselves inextricably linked when a stop at a roadside bar leads to murder.
On the run and out of options, they reluctantly rescue a stranded boy and his dog from a lonely crossroads in the Mojave desert and decide for the first time in their lives to do the right thing.
But this one selfless act unleashes a terrifying onslaught of demonic trouble as they struggle to save the boy – and themselves – from an evil far greater than they ever imagined.
Why we’re excited about this book: Kate Jonez’s previous book, Candy House, was nominated for a Bram Stoker award and her new novella, Ceremony Of Flies, looks set to build on that success. Lots of horror stories are about criminals or wrongdoers who are punished for their transgressions by some form of supernatural nastiness. Ceremony Of Flies takes a different approach – the two criminals on the run are damned not for their crimes, but for a single act of kindness in middle of the Mojave desert. Supernatural nastiness ensues, regardless.
A thrilling, fast-paced horror story about the search for atonement from a writer who’ll probably be huge this time next year, and with a gorgeously repulsive cover to boot – what more could you ask for?
This book will appeal to: people who know that, whilst crime maybe doesn’t pay, neither does much else.