Nightsiders - Gary McMahon
Ok Gary bring it on...and boy have you brought it on!..just look at this for a bit of teasing and snaring the unprotected reader into a nightmare world of his darkest dreams..."It was exactly the kind of place they needed to heal their wounds, a quiet, almost lazy backwater where everyone knew everyone else's business but nobody really bothered to interfere" So you are curious we have just met a lovely sweet scented family Robert, Sarah and some wonderful kids Connor and cute little Molly but we the reader are told they need to heal their wounds...you are snared...you want to know more!!...a lovely little appetizer Gary :) So the story of this middle class family unfolds and we learn a little more about the tormented Sarah "She was beautiful. He had never stopped thinking so, even as she lay in a north London hospital bed, her face swollen and bruised and those full lips shredded by her attackers cheap gold rings" This family is wounded but they are a unit, a fighting family unit and have taken the decision to move up country to Battle (nice play on that word) to a new home and a new life only to find their dreams shattered by an evil moulded and created from the mean streets of Hell...the Corbeaus...and just before battle commences probably the greatest and most memorable line in the book is spoken "He could almost hear their laughter as the skin of the world began to slowly unpeel"

No life is ideal and no family is perfect and in a world of good and evil "you try to retain a sense of purity within the sanctity of your family, to do your best to keep the tide of filth at bay" Robert Miller is a duplicitous character, he purports to be a man of honour, and yet he has a somewhat unenviable core, he loves to delve into the low seedy life and has an attraction for short affairs and sexual adventures with ladies of the night...are we all not a little like this? I purely pose the question and suggest nothing is what it seems...At the core of this story the Corbeaus are the lowest of the low, the scum of society we fear, the embodiment of our darkest dreams and they exist in every part and facet of our lives and we use our best endeavours to avoid and ignore their very existence..their world is "littered with detritus: fast-food cartons, beercans, condoms, wooden crates, pages torn from pornographic magazines, and, oddly, cut flowers. The stems of the flowers were dry and brittle, and the petals had been scattered across the grubby carpet in decorative arcs. The room smelled bad, like backed-up sewage pipes." The Corbeaus were Robert's very own demons and wanted him dead...unless he could take the fight to them. Welcome to the underbelly of the world! "We're the flipside," said a soft, low voice from behind and somewhere off to his left. "We're the underside. We're the nightside. And we're never. Going. Away".......
A fantastic achievement by Mr McMahon, a brilliant, thought provoking and highly intelligent story by a British author mastering and developing his trade.