Night Shoot – David Sodergren
Reviewed By Steve Stred
** A couple of Full Disclosure’s here before we start! The first is that Mr. Sodergren has become my main copy-editor on all of my works. He’s been instrumental in helping me and my writing. The second is that, while he does have a column here at Kendall Reviews, neither of the two disclosures have in any way influenced my review. **
Last year, the horror world was introduced to David Sodergren’s debut Novel ‘The Forgotten Island.’ It was a marvellous achievement for a debut novel and the characters and story were stunning. It easily made my top 10 year-end list and made a number of other year-end best-of lists as well. It was even awarded a stunning 5 skull review in Scream Magazine. This was first-rate story telling by a first-rate gentleman.
Now, in 2019, Sodergren returns and if we thought he was going to ease up, back off or rest on his laurels with the success of The Forgotten Island to fall back on, you can forget about that.
Sodergren has a gift for storytelling, for pacing, character development and for not filling space with useless words. He puts down what is needed and does it effortlessly. Throw in the amazing artwork that keeps the stylistic aesthetic of his debut and Night Shoot fires on all cylinders.
The entire book reads as David intended – a classic 1980’s VHS slasher, kill them all tale. It keeps the standard plot points to engage; amazing setting (ancient manor), boobs (lead actress/main character), and a gaggle of odd and strange characters. Then of course there is suspense, scares, gore and death. Plenty of gore and death.
This is one of those books that would be an easy rental for me back in the VHS days and I’d be now waiting for the Blu-Ray release to come out. It has nostalgia written all over in the best way possible.
We follow Elspeth and her college friends as they arrive at the writer/director’s Uncle’s manor. The group are filming a movie for their final mark in University and they’re filming a horror movie. Robert, the director has been given permission to film for the day, with one caveat – they must be packed up and gone by 8pm sharp. Not a second later. The Uncle doesn’t spend the nights there and will be locking it up at 8.
Well, of course, and no surprise to us horror fans, things don’t work out and the group sneaks back in after 8pm.
From there Sodergren flexes his writing chops and begins offing his characters in the best ways possible.
The ending left me stunned, saddened and infuriated, which is to say – he ended it exactly as it should’ve. I finished reading it about four days ago as of the writing of this, and I’m still wishing it would’ve ended differently, but glad it played out like it did.
Sodergren’s many hours watching movies continues to pay off and he framed the scenes fantastic and injected a bit of humour at a few key spots, which upped the emotional attachments to the various characters.
This is another home run for David and frankly, I’m already waiting to see what’s up his sleeve next!
Star Rating (out of 5): 5*
A group of desperate student filmmakers break into Crawford Manor for an unauthorised night shoot. They have no choice. Their lead actress has quit. They’re out of time. They’re out of money.
They’re out of luck.
For Crawford Manor has a past that won’t stay dead, and the crew are about to come face-to-face with the hideous secret that stalks the halls.
Will anyone survive…the NIGHT SHOOT?
A delirious homage to the slasher movies of the 1980s, Night Shoot delivers page after page of white-knuckle terror.
You can buy Night Shoot from Amazon UK & Amazon US
Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark, Bleak 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, the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun and his most recent release was the coming-of-age, urban legend tale The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.
On June 1st, 2019 his second full length novel, The Stranger will be welcomed to the world.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
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
Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?
Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.
Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?
But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.
While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.
The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.
The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.
Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.
YOU TAKE FROM ME
I TAKE FROM YOU
Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.
But what if it’s not…
What if there is something out there?
The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”
With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.
Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (www.inkshadows.com), The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.
Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…
Excellent review. You’ve convinced to grab his books!
Am reading it now, loving it and so pleased I tried out Sodergren on your rec Steve