Berserk by Tim Lebbon

(No Series)

"They kept monsters." That s what Tom overhears in the bar that night. And he hears more things that can finally lead him to the truth about his son s death ten years before. The army had said it was a training accident. But why had the coffin they sent home been sealed?

So on a dark night, in a deserted field, Tom begins to unearth the mass grave where he hopes-and fears-that he will find his son s remains. He finds instead madness: corpses in chains and dead bodies that still move and grasp and clutch. And one little girl, dead and rotting, who promises to help Tom find what he s looking for, if only he will free her...

Since the death of his only child, Steven, ten years previous, Tom enjoys unwinding in a local pub with a few glasses of ale and depression in his thoughts. One Friday night, which of course happens at the beginning of this book, he overhears two suspicious men speaking in low tones about the area where Steven had been stationed and thus, killed. In the back of his mind, always sure that something was off kilter about Steven’s death, he can’t help but follow up this mystery on his own. This leads him on a morbid treasure hunt where what he unearths changes his life forever.

Now on the run from a man who would make an undercover cop cringe, armed with a small dead child who isn’t all she seems to be, he ends up finding out things exist that God never intended to see the light of day. From the first word to the final, Lebbon makes sure the reader stays tuned in to this morbid experience the whole ride through. Almost poetically painted with clear yet artistic vocabulary, it’s a read that slides into the cerebrum with buttery ease.

Tense scenes are tight and strong, chocked to the brim with action and heart pounding suspense. Gore is not spared here, yet it’s not all the book is about. The plot is original in some aspects, all too familiar in others, yet succeeds in the way its delivered. The ending is a bit of a surprise to me, as I figured one of the characters would turn out more dark than she portrayed to Tom, and I can’t say the finale was as satisfying as I’d like. The map of this book is still fun to follow, however, and the twists and turns along the way are entertaining.

Characters ring tried and true, working with the scenes to produce the maximum appeal, and the pacing doesn’t let up. At times the isolation of Tom and the child, Natasha, with the villain Cole can grow slightly repetitive, since it keeps continuing, but the flashbacks injected on each characters part helps ease the pain.

All in all this is another Leisure horror book that’s written with fans of the macabre in mind, aiming at keeping them happy and working. Lebbon has a special talent all his own, something different, unique, dark, and ultimately satisfying.