“Knowing Willie Meikle, this is going to be even more messed up than we can imagine!”
This story isn’t really about me.
On the Isle of Skye, near the community of Dunvegan, sits a rustic old one-bedroom home, waiting for a new tenant. It seems like the perfect opportunity for Jim Greenwood to escape the hectic London city life—a place to move on from tragedy.
This is the story of a house.
As he tries to settle into country life, his is tormented by mysterious soot marks left throughout the house while he sleeps, cryptic e-mails from unknown senders, and hundreds of hand-drawn stick-figure drawings etched in a perfect pattern on the cottage’s cellar walls. Jim begins losing control, drinking excessively, shaking to an uncontrollable beat in his head, trying to decipher what may or may not be a code—or a warning.
No limbs, no limbs, no head, no head, left arm gone, left leg gone, no legs, no head.
The door is open, and something is coming through. It’s just a matter of when—and what.
Why We’re Excited About This Book: There’s lots of reasons to be excited about a new book from Willie Meikle—his past record of quality horror, the fact that it’s being released by the always reliable DarkFuse—but to be honest it’s one detail from the blurb that’s got us awaiting Tormentor with nervous expectation: the stick-figures.
Hundreds and hundreds of stick-figures mysteriously drawn on the wall of an isolated cottage, some without arms, some without heads. Jesus. If that’s not a perfect distillation of all that’s disturbing about the horror genre we don’t know what is. And knowing Willie Meikle it’s going to be even more messed up than we can imagine…
Meikle has stated this is a book he’s had to wait years to write, waiting until he thought he had sufficient skill as a writer to tackle it. Given how good his most recent releases have been, that’s unlikely to be a concern.
“Another must read from one of the biggest talents in genre fiction.”
Toby’s life was perfectly normal . . . until it was unravelled by something as simple as a blood test. Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House; an out-of-time existence far from the modern world, where he, and the others who live there, are studied by Matron and her team of nurses. They’re looking for any sign of sickness. Any sign of their wards changing. Any sign that it’s time to take them to the sanatorium.
No one returns from the sanatorium.
Withdrawn from his house-mates and living in his memories of the past, Toby spends his days fighting his fear. But then a new arrival in the house shatters the fragile peace, and everything changes.
Because everybody dies. It’s how you choose to live that counts.
Why We’re Excited About This Book: Sarah Pinborough’s superb The Language Of Dying tackled the subject of terminal illness from the perspective of an onlooker, watching a loved one die. In The Death House she returns to the same theme but from a different angle, telling the story of Toby, a teenager with a mysterious and fatal genetic disease.
Toby is brought to live in an isolated medical facility, where a group of young people all with the same disease are watched over by nurses who seem as much jailers as carers. If any sign of sickness is found they are taken away, never to be seen again… And given the title, we’re sure there’s more to Toby’s new home than meets the eye.
The Death House is a more plot-driven, YA-focussed novel than The Language Of Dying, but it looks no less intriguing for that. Pinborough focuses on character and relationships and the backdrop of The Death House, with Toby and the rest quarantined from the world, is the perfect setting for such a book.
Sarah Pinborough is one of the biggest talents around in genre fiction at the moment and this book looks like another must read from her.