I love a good horror story. They offer so much raw detail of deep brooding characters, heralding from the most trusted corners of our civilization. Clever writers over the years have used the ones whose company we find the most secure, intelligently forming narratives that are truly terrifying.
Lynne Truss, the famed author of the punctuation classic Eats, shoots and leaves, has ventured into those murky depths with her new novella; Cat Out Of Hell.
Firstly, I must state that I am not the biggest fan of cats; an animal that is so fleetingly your pet, only ever belongs to your family exclusively on it's own terms. Unlike dogs, cats have always appeared to have an air of beguiling independence and a haze of evil surrounding them. They're not to be trusted and thus it gives me great joy to see that in Lynne Truss, I am not alone.
Alec, an academic whose struck suddenly by the grief of his dearly departed wife, decides to take a break from the world by shackling himself up in a quiet little cottage by the sea. Through various papers and manuscripts passed to him by a colleague, he is introduced to Wiggy, a man that claims to have been visited several times by a talking and somewhat evil cat, clamming to be a member of a feline conspiracy that spans centuries.
Having read Eats, shoots and leaves I knew to anticipate the work of a writer whose wit is as sharp as her pencil! Cat Out of Hell is a tremendously engaging humour riddled horror. Rarely subscribing to humour horror, I anticipated the type of story you'd hear read out over Radio 4 on a Sunday evening, with all the middle class bore fest language you might expect. Thankfully, this doesn't happen and the story is expertly pieced together by the various correspondences of emails, a screenplay and a 1st person narration whose pace gallops to the terrifically terrifying conclusion in a somewhat effortless ease.
Truss' book will no doubt appeal to both humour and horror genre fans looking for their quick fix of storytelling escapism.
Cat out of Hell is published by Hammer Arrow Books and available to order from Amazon.