Flesh and Blood
Author: Simon Cheshire
Publication Date: March 2nd 2015
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~
I must record the facts that have led me to where I am now. So that, when someone reads this, they understand. Sam Hunter's neighbours are pillars of the community, the most influential people in town. But they're liars too. The Greenhills are hiding something and Sam's determined to find out what it is. As his investigation unfolds, he realizes the lies reach further than he ever imagined - is there anyone he can trust? Uncovering the horror is one thing ...escaping is another. A chilling new story in the Red Eye series
Flesh and Blood is not a mild horror book. It's not the horror you expect, or even the Gothic you expect. It's underrated, because it is subtle, and although it is questionable, it's also could be terrifyingly real. It's also not one to skimp on details. Or the gory details. Or the I-think-I'm-going-to-be-sick details and the dear-god-save-me details. Depending on how well your stomach can keep food in it, you might not want to eat whilst reading it.
Flesh and Blood opens with a bang, it doesn't beat around the bush and sucks you right into the murder that kick-starts Sam's investigation. It's not exactly fast paced throughout, but it's steady, and I wasn't bored, if anything, it amped up the strange atmosphere. Sam is clever, but he isn't smart, if that makes sense. He has a nose for suspicious behaviour and events, but he's not exactly stealth in how he perpetrates his investigation. I think a lot of the results would have been different to the end game if he had been. What I love about the characters in Flesh and Blood though, especially The Greenhill's, is how they never hide and pretend to be something they're not, and as twisted as it sounds, they are the best bad characters I've read in a while.I have to give props to the unexpected ending, throughout the novel, we get the vibe the story is written in after whatever events have happened, and we're reading the leading up to the end, but I never once guessed the what or how. The build-up is great, and it gives the chilly atmosphere you expect, and believe me, it goes a long way.
My only issue with Flesh and Blood, though it's not really an issue, but more of a thing I've come to expect when it comes to the genre, which in most cases, it's always the same. I never connect to the characters, and maybe that's because they usually focus more on the plot and horror aspect of the novel than building the characteristics. Not that it bothers me that much, I have too much fun with the horror.
Flesh and Blood was my type of book, strange and creepy, with a dash of off and mystery, it was reminiscent to 1985's Fright Night and a certain Season 3 Episode of Supernatural.
Now, we have Simon Cheshire's TOP 5 INSPIRATIONS FOR FLESH AND BLOOD
Here are a few things from real life which inspired elements in my horror novel Flesh And Blood. They’re not in any particular order, but I’ll tell you which one first sparked the whole idea when we get to the end.
1. MY OWN SQUEAMISHNESS
I can’t stand doctors or hospitals. They give me the shudders. Maybe it’s the matter-of-fact handling of death and disease that does it, I dunno? When they start showing wounds and operations on TV, that’s me sleepless for a week.
2. THE GEOGRAPHY OF MY HOME TOWN
I should stress that Warwick is nothing whatsoever like the fictional Hadlington, and is in no way creepy, but the geography of the area in which I live is quite closely mirrored in Flesh And Blood. Locals will recognise the park, the green bridge, the river...
3. A TEACHER
One of the villains in Flesh And Blood, Byron Greenhill, is based on someone who was briefly one of my teachers in the 1970s. Byron speaks, dresses and acts a very particular way, and as I started to write about him this teacher kept springing to mind.
4. THE NEWS
Greed, corruption, barbarity, hatred, incompetence… Call me a miserable old cynic, but when did the world become so selfishly nasty? The monsters in Flesh And Blood are barely millimetres away from this morning’s headlines.
5. MY TERRIBLE D.I.Y SKILLS
Some years ago, I was trying to make a set of shelves from scratch. I managed to saw into my own leg. Given what I said above in Number 1, you can imagine my reaction. I had to pick a thin blade out of bleeding muscle. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know exactly which scene that inspired!
OK, the initial inspiration for the story? Number 4. The day I was due to start planning out the book, my radio alarm woke me up with a report that was so vile I couldn’t clean it out of my head all day. I had no choice but to mould it into fiction…