This is my original review....from Jan 2011
As a long time reader of horror I have always been fascinated by this particular genre depicting as it does, when well presented, a dark and fearful world and a journey into the evil realms of the human condition. The works in particular of James Herbert and Stephen King familiar and multi-layered have never cease to amaze me and feed my addiction. Sadly it appears to me that most modern horror writers are unable to engage the reader for any length of time or indeed reach the dizzy heights of their renowned predecessors. Perhaps this is a result of many so called aspiring authors now having the facility to store and publish books online and thus able to reach a wider audience. By this I mean that we, the reader, now have a never ending source of digital ebook material to read and in my opinion this abundance of "literary" material is destroying the quality of the printed word...put simply anyone can now write a book and whether that book holds merit is a matter of personal taste!
Pressure by Jeff Strand, on one level, is a simple story of a small boy's obsession with evil and the effect that this has on his best friend.... thereby lies the problem. This book is written only on one level, it is not multi-layered or complicated, it does not task the reader or treat him with any level of intelligence. It tells a simple story, in simple language and could only be described as boring in the extreme. It is written in a style that is reminiscent of a high school student, and holds no literary merit whatsoever. I find most modern horror writers ( there are a very few exceptions ) are a sad reflection of what has gone before, and if this is an example of the future of this genre then those culpable should hang their heads in shame! It is little wonder that few book stores in the United Kingdom stock quality horror books, indeed few retain a horror section at all and if this book is purported as a example of this genre frankly I am not surprised!
I'm not sure why I thought so badly off this book in 2011 but having just reread this time I really enjoyed. The obsessive psychotic Darren and his friendship or association with Alex, his attempt to control and be a part of Alex's life is almost stalker like in its execution. Alex will regret the day he ever made the acquaintance of Darren, it will almost destroy his life and make him question every value that he has ever believed in. This is a quiet and very easy to read horror story one man's psychotic lifestyle and the effect it has on those around him...Great little story from Jeff Strand and my apologies that it has taken me so long to realize this :)