The Pale House Devil by Richard Kadrey
|The Pale House Devil by Richard Kadrey|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: It felt like these characters would be a perfect pick to turn into a TV series. Short, but very readable!|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 128||Date: October 2023|
|Publisher: Titan Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Ford and Neuland are a couple of, well, guys for hire I guess, though really the way I thought of them through the book was as a couple of strange detectives! One of them is living, you see, and the other is undead, and so one of them kills the living, and the other kills the undead. (Only not each other, obviously). They're on a job in New York that goes badly, and so they head out to the West coast to try to lay low for a while and find some other work to keep them going. But when a young woman called Tilda hires them to kill the 'something' that appears to be haunting a wealthy gentleman's house they find themselves uncovering a whole lot of family history, and a terrifyingly powerful creature that they've never come across before!
I have to note that this is a 'very' short book. Touting itself as a novella, it felt short even by novella standards. I mention this only because with the price of hardbacks nowadays, you might want to borrow it from the library before splashing out for your own copy to see if it's your cup of tea. I gulped the book down in just a couple of hours, so it doesn't take long to read! But I did really enjoy it, and it felt like a story that could turn into something much longer as I would definitely like to read more about Ford and Neuland.
They work together well as a pair, like a couple of oddball detectives as I say, and you feel involved in their story quite quickly. I would have liked to know more about them, how they've ended up working together, and more about how the dead/undead side of things works. But it's surprising how much the author has created with just this short book, as you come away feeling like you've had a good experience with these characters.
The start of the book launches right into their job in New York, so you're thrown into the story straight away, and I liked the movement between their story, and the creature in the mansion's story. It balances out well, and builds the suspense of what's coming. The descriptions work well, and I could imagine the locations, and the strange creature, which is always good for a horror story as then it sticks in your mind more! It is unnerving in places, but it didn't give me nightmares! Whilst moments are gross, or disgusting, there are also small touches of humour, which I think helped to even the story out.
Having Tilda come into the book also helps to mix things up, and although I wasn't sure about her character initially I began to enjoy the interactions between her and Ford and Neuland. At the point where the novella finishes it felt like I'd just read the start of a full length book that I wanted to continue, and so there was some disappointment for me at the end that that was it! But as I haven't read anything by this author before it was a good introduction to his writing style, and did make me want to try some of the other things he's written. So if you fancy an unsettlingly fast but very engaging autumnal evening read I would recommend this!
You might also enjoy this collection of short horror stories: Bad Dolls by Rachel Harrison.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Pale House Devil by Richard Kadrey at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Pale House Devil by Richard Kadrey at Amazon.com.
Check prices, read reviews or buy from Foyles. Foyles currently charges £2.99 (first class £3.99) for orders under £25, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Foyles bookshop at no charge.
Check prices, read reviews or buy from Waterstones. Waterstones currently charges from £2.75 for orders under £20, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Waterstones bookshop at no charge.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.