The Beast of Barcroft - Bill Schweigart

"One twisted, gnarled body, thousands of tiny heads protruding. The mass crested over her swaying like a cobra for a moment, hundreds of black eyes looking down on her, before it crashed over her in a wave and thousands of razor-sharp teeth found purchase at once." When I read this about a quarter of the way into The Beast of Barcroft I thought whoa!! James Herbert eat your heart out!! this is like a modern retelling of The Rats, 70's horror at its best.....but unfortunately that was as good as it got.......

 

The Rats was one of the first horror books I ever read and was influential in my early love of the horror genre. It was a book with a great and simple story, a rat plague strikes London, and a wonderful list of characters that instantly got me interested in the story that each had to tell. So why I am talking about The Rats when this is a review of an entirely different book? Simply put The Beast of Barcroft is unfortunately a book that will do little to ingratiate new readers to the horror genre in the way that The Rats did for me all those years ago. It is utter drivel! with characters that are instantly forgettable and a story line that had the potential to relive all those great books from so many years ago and instead  turns out to be a damp squib.

 

Ben McKelvie has moved into a new pad in Arlington Virginia with his dog Bucky, and a disorganised neighbour whose chaotic and irresponsible lifestyle is attracting all types of rodents and vermin to the streets outside his home. What more is there to say....the beast/shapeshifter arrives, takes on whatever form he chooses and terrorizes and kills a few inhabitants. So will our hero (who loves Lindsay but she is really in love with her new partner Faith, so then he loves Lisa!) save the day. Do I really care about the puerile and petty little lives of hollow and forgettable characters in some nondescript town, I can only hope that in this battle of attrition against a poor and defenceless beast that the beast wins. You will of course, dear reader, have to read the story (if you can be bothered) to find out the answer but personally I would prefer to be buried up to my neck in pig swill rather than have to endure such drivel again!

 

I cannot understand why so called horror authors have the audacity to present such poorly written rubbish for print, are all those positive reviews a fair and unbiased point of view?.....I simply state this point as the Amazon star system always makes me a little suspicious of reviewers who claim...... a very good read, compellingly creepy and well written.....well written my ar*e

 

So an honest one star from me and I'm being generous :)