For some reason Adam Nevill’s latest offering reminds me of Midsomer Murders. Perhaps it’s the English countryside and all the detectives and police officers trying to do their jobs before they are decapitated and disemboweled? I’m sure Barnaby had cases like that all the time.
In any case, The Reddening is about several people stumbling on a crazy cult on the southern coast of England. There’s a lot of promise here, the setting is great, the setpieces excellent, but somehow the execution doesn’t deliver as hard a punch as it should. Nevill’s books have been great when there’s just one person trying to survive an impossible situation, like in No One Gets Out Alive or The House of Small Shadows. In The Reddening, some of the best parts are when, for instance, Steve or Kat is alone in a desperate situation. Here the action is spread out, but the sum total of the different parts seems somehow diluted, lesser.
Apparently painting yourself red is also a thing in the novel, but I’m having hard time figuring out how fast the people are doing it. And don’t they make a terrible mess, for instance, when they sit in a car? In short, it’s a bit different from Nevill’s previous books and the effort is applauded, but it’s not as good as his best, because his best are damn near perfect.
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