But Worse Will Come – C. C. Adams
Reviewed by D.K. Hundt
Author C.C. Adams, a member of the Horror Writers Association and London native, grew up in the south-west of the city watching Hammer Horror, Rabid, An American Werewolf In London, The Kindred, and Poltergeist with his two older brothers. Adams love for dark fiction was truly cemented when he was presented with a copy of Aidan Chambers’ Book Of Ghosts And Hauntings upon leaving primary school. His work appears in publications such as Weirdbook Magazine and Turn To Ash. In the Spring of 2018 Adams signed with KGHH Publishing, and his first book with them, featured in this review, is But Worse Will Come.
It wasn’t until after reading this eighty-eight-page novella that I learned that it’s a sequel to Adams’ short story ‘Sunset Is Just The Beginning,’ wherein the backstory of the main character is given with just enough detail so that I get a sense of the child, and later in the book, the man he becomes. As a personal preference, I found myself wanting some of the other characters fleshed out a bit more in the book, which isn’t needed to make this dark tale one of my top ten in 2018. Adams’ writing style is what pulled me into the narrative and kept me there even during a second read. It’s one of those books where the tension is so good, and there have been a few books like that this year, that you may likely bite the head off anyone who interrupts you while reading it. Trust me, I almost did!
Adams’ short story, ‘Sunset Is Just The Beginning,’ is set in West Norwood, South London (1982) and opens with the main character, eleven-year-old Theo Papakostas, a prankster who’s determined to liven things up in the classroom, and whether his classmates approve or not is of little concern to him. Theo’s prank of choice on this day is an arachnid placed in a tiny, clear plastic bag; he eagerly waits to make his move, his classmates stirring as the school day draws to a close and a distracted teacher, it’s time. André, ‘a scaredy-cat, afraid of everything, including his own shadow,’ who happens to sit in front of Theo, is the target. Well, you can guess André’s reaction, but you have no idea what’s in store for Theo as he walks home from school through West Norwood Cemetery in the late afternoon, other than André’s revenge, I mean. Something sinister lurks in the cemetery, a nocturnal creature that feasts on carrion but would rather dine on the living that’s ripe with fear, instead, it chooses to spare Theo’s life – for now – But Worse Will Come. The novella opens with forty-three-year-old Theo who’s attending a funeral at West Norwood Cemetery for the sister of one of his former work colleagues, seemingly more out of obligation than out of want, when the creature catches wind of him. ‘Soon Theo’s world turns into a waking nightmare: a struggle to stay ahead of the terror.’
C.C. Adams is one of many authors I’m keeping an eye on in the New Year, eagerly anticipating what stories they will come up with next! In closing, if my review or the synopsis of But Worse Will Come sparks your interest, then, by all means, take a bite, and delve into the creative mind of the author – you may be surprised what you find lurking within.
Theodore Papakostas lives a normal life. Holds down a day job. Struggles with his weight. With women, he’s more ‘miss’ than ‘hit.’ He’s humble – a far cry from the bullying behaviour of his childhood. Days long forgotten. Almost. Something has caught wind of him. Something that warned Theo long ago that if their paths crossed again, Theo would not survive. And Theo’s world is turned into a waking nightmare: a struggle to stay ahead of the terror. Because all those years ago, sunset was just the beginning …but worse will come.
D. K. Hundt is an American writer with a BA degree in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing contemporary fiction and horror/supernatural stories, she likes to spend her free time working as a volunteer in her community, being a minion for her cat Simon, warding off carnivorous spiders, and throwing herself into and around the dark alleyways of Stephen King novels in search of inspiration. D. K. resides in California with her husband, and she is currently working on a horror novel titled, Cheveyo–a story about a young boy who goes to live with his grandpa on a reservation, and soon discovers that the malevolent creatures that lurk in the Okanogan Forest aren’t the only deadly secret the locals are hiding.
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