The Bledbrooke Works – John F. Leonard
Reviewed By Steve Stred
As you’ve seen from previous reviews here and maybe over on Goodreads, I’ve become a big fan of John’s work. Whether it’s been Doggem, Call Drops, or A Plague of Pages, John continually delivers the goods. I still have yet to make it to his novel Bad Pennies, but I’m going to need to bump that up my TBR after this most recent outing.
The Bledbrooke Works is a stand-alone tale that is still interwoven into John’s ongoing Scaeth Mythos (which was started in Bad Pennies). The fact that I haven’t read Bad Pennies but can easily function in his Mythos is a true sign of a talented writer. You don’t feel lost or confused and can follow along nicely.
The story is a simple, straight-forward story told in three perspectives. The basis of the book is that sanitation workers need to head down into the sewer system to find out why there is a blockage or disruption to some services.
We follow a new worker and a grizzled worker head below into the stink and the filth. The new worker is nervous and scared, wishing he was anywhere else. The grizzled worker knows it’s just another job that needs to be done.
Leonard also gives us a great story line about the cosmic-tentacled creature that lives down in the sewers. It’s been there for centuries, maybe longer, growing weary and hungry.
As the two men progress further under the city, the creature becomes aware of their presence. Soon the younger worker feels its presence and the story comes to its ultimate climax.
I found this to be another read from Leonard that just flows off the pages, so effortless and you immediately feel at home and comfortably sitting in his world.
I wished the culmination of the story had played out longer and that the details were filled in more, but ultimately it still did the job and served its purpose!
Leonard has created a fantastic Mythos that will allow new readers to jump in at any one novella, but also continued fans will find fills more and more pieces of the growing puzzle.
Star Rating (out of 5): 4.5*
Another stellar outing and now I need to get to Bad Pennies!
The Bledbrooke Works
Ever notice how some places don’t feel right? No rhyme or reason, they’re just unsettling, without you being able to pinpoint the cause.
The vaguely suspicious demeanour of the locals. The pewtered quality of light. The old and indefinably alien smell that blows on the breeze …difficult to say for sure, but there’s definitely something.
Bledbrooke is one of those places. It’s always been different to other towns.
Quaint and quiet, a little backwater with a somehow dark charm all of its own. Once you get used to it, you wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
It’s not all sweetness and light though. There are problems.
A new one has just appeared. The drains on Cinderlake Drive are bubbling unsavoury water onto the street. Even worse, the toilets are blocked and spitting nastiness at some affluent backsides.
The town council reckon it’s a fatberg – one of those awful accumulations of wet wipes, grease and other unmentionables.
There’s only one man to call…
Donald Hobdike, world-weary and well past his prime, this sort of issue inevitably ends up on his chipped desk. When it comes to the sewers in Bledbrooke, he’s seen it all and more besides. Knows them better than he knows the back of his wrinkled hand.
Or so he thinks.
Maybe the labyrinthine warren beneath Bledbrooke still has some surprises in store for him…
THE BLEDBROOKE WORKS is a tale of everyday unpleasantness and cosmic horror. A short novella of subterranean terror seen through the eyes of an ageing engineer and a young hoodlum. One a pillar of the local community, the other an outsider who wouldn’t know communal spirit if it ran up and bit him on the bottom.
A horror story, part of the Scaeth Mythos.
Reality is not what it seems. There is more than any of us know. Some of it’s miraculous, some of it’s hideous beyond imagining.
There is, of course, structure. Boundaries and dividing lines.
The walls are thinner than we realise.
Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark Horror author. Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick.
Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all this horror, occult, supernatural and paranormal.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog Oj.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official Website here
The Girl Who Hid In The Trees
Something lurks just beyond.
Centuries ago a heinous act created a ripple that still haunts the residents to this very day.
Now the kids who reside near McConnell’s Forest live forever in fear.
Jason lost his brother when he was young. He left with his friends to ‘debunk’ the urban legend and never came back.
Now Jason and his group of friends are fed up and want to discover what is happening, what is the real cause of the terror holding their small town hostage.
But something is waiting for them. She may look sweet and innocent, but the friends are about to find out that pure evil can exist in the smallest of packages.
She’s out there. And while you may not know her name or what she looks like, the local kids will tell you if you ask, that you should fear for your life from the girl who hid in the trees.
From the dark mind of Steve Stred, the author of Wagon Buddy, YURI and Invisible comes this fast-paced, seat of your pants coming-of-age tale. A quick, violent, bleak read, The Girl Who Hid In The Trees will make you think twice about those sounds you hear far off in the woods.