Jack Kilborn - Afraid (4 stars)

Jack Kilborn - Afraid

Starting with a plane crash and ending with a coyote-on-human chow down, Afraid is a rattling good read for those who have the stomach for it. When a mutant military force turns up unannounced at the friendly law-abiding town of Safe Haven (population 907) there is bloodshed aplenty. They are looking for the sheriff’s brother but nobody knows where he lives. Meanwhile, a single mum, her child and a firefighter are just trying to stay alive and make it through the night.

Borrowing liberally from HP Lovecraft and Stephen King, debutant Jack Kilborn’s gripping account of a very violent invasion of a largely innocent community is unrelenting and thrilling. His style is effortless but well paced and finely characterised, and he clearly has an eye for shock, gore and other related cruelties. If you’re looking for an easy late winter holiday read this is certainly unputdownable. (Paul Dale)

Afraid is published by Headline