The Demonists by Thomas E. Sniegoski
The 1st in a new series by the author of the anodyne ‘Remy Chandler’ series. This urban fantasy sees two paranormal investigators go up against demons. There are also more demons, secret societies, a deranged FBI agent and a big furore. The ‘hero’ John is a rude thankless ass who rants at whoever he feels mostly recently wronged him. Theodora is John’s socially needy wife who wisps through the book having bad things happen to her to fuel John’s manpain and narrative. This was okay but had no real prowess.
Under A Watchful Eye by Adam Nevill
The latest novel by Britain’s alleged answer to Stephen King is very good and creepy. Sebastian Logan is a horror writer who has a patently terrible frenemy invade his house. The houseguest horror that he didn’t ask for but is getting anyway is a dirty, miserable drunk with an incredible tale of grim, dark and edgy horror. He’s made Sebastian the unnecessary focus of said horror.
Sebastian unwisely investigates and uncovers a tale of a con man long dead, his cult and the negative social effects thereof. There may be a lack of clarity as to what exactly Sebastian is having unhappy interactions with but he cannot ignore the consequences. This is a creepy ass tale with lots of awesome creepy things. Poor dim Sebastian has fallen afoul of objectively awful things that take pack pleasure in pure offensiveness.
This is a nuanced, complex and difficult tale of imperious people with odd personal loyalties and motivations. This vividly invokes creeping dread and is one of Nevill’s better works, up there with ‘Apartment 16’, ‘Last Days’ and ‘Lost Girl’.
“The kind of person you wanted either to forget, or to stare aghast at from a safe distance.”
“Unable to appreciate the view, because of what might appear outside and look up,”
“Maybe to keep him away from them.”
“Ran the risk of bringing him back from the past.”
“His first lesson of who to avoid in life.”
“A well-used mattress that he’d never dared examine.”
“Cat piss despite there being no cat.”