The horror of this book will creep over you and surround you like the mist that haunts the residents of the small Australian town from its pages. Soon by Lois Murphy tells the story of Pete, an ex-cop living in the town of Nebulah with his dog, Gina. The town was never hugely populated before but now the mist comes and takes the night, it has an occupancy of just six. Pete and the other resident spend their nights locked in their homes as the mist throws all sorts of horrors at them. It is trying to draw them out so that it can make them become its victim. As the story evolves, the ex-cop finds himself in a situation that predicts his death will occur unless he leaves the town he calls home. The word ‘Soon’ follows him as a warning of his fate, leaving us to wonder will he be able to out run it.
Lois Murphy serves up old school horror here. The way she brings to life the emptiness of the abandoned town of Nebulah has a similar feel to that of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. Although Pete has the company of the other residents, Milly, Li and the others, he still has mostly his own thoughts for company. The character’s backgrounds are rich and grounded in the world they live in. You fret for them and you root for them. You feel their losses and pains. The way Murphy explores Pete’s history draws the reader in to his life and increases the tension as the narrative continues getting closer to finding out if the prediction of Pete’s fate does indeed come true.
It is the night time moments that bring the nostalgic twang of horror movies past. The way the mist forces the residents to acknowledge it, brings back the sort of malevolence that you get from those early black and white horror movies. When things unknown and unexplainable prayed on simple, ordinary, quiet towns folk. There were parts that brought to mind the end of the 1956 film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Who is going to believe the ravings of a mad man? You need to see the terror for yourself. There was something of the John Carpenter’s The Thing in there too. How can you ever really trust someone when what is trying to get you seems so impossible?
I liked this book a lot and I would recommend it as a Halloween read. It is also a book that would appeal to sci-fi fans with a love of the classics. Read it after dark.
Soon by Lois Murphy is published by Titan books. Click here to go to the site to get yourself a copy.