Sometime in the future, Britain has fallen steadily into anarchy, and lawless gangs battle the remnants of the oppressive Party, who seek to restore order or at least survive a little while longer. Sullivan, sprung from prison to serve The Party in its last hour, is pulled along as a handful of desperate men sets out for a safe house, the one place remaining where they might be safe from the mobs: Bleeker Hill. But every one of the survivors carries old grudges and traumas with them, and the house they are heading to has a dark reputation. Most recently at Bleeker Hill, a psychotic scientist worked to perfect The Wash, erasing men’s memories and humanity, but the house has an even longer, deeper history of evil. The band must fight the mob, each other, their own pasts, and something else, something terrible that lurks in their safe house.
Bleeker Hill is an interesting breed of horror, combining the anarchic, nearly post-apocalyptic world of near-future Britain with the dystopian vision of the fascist Party and a classic sort of haunted-house story. All this almost sounds like too much, but it works surprisingly well, capturing and holding the reader’s attention while the tension builds, playing off past vs. present, hope vs. despair. The careful balance maintained between the different brands of horror starts to fall apart near the end, which starts to feel rushed, but the story holds together through the conclusion. The occasional recurring error in punctuation, spelling, or word choice may distract the reader, but otherwise the book is written well, crafting a world that is both overtly and subtly horrifying. The result is a book to be quietly creeped out by on a cold, rainy day.
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