Review by Ashley Lister
Elwood Cathis is a junkie. It’s a habit that’s cost him his writing career, his family and his dignity. All that he has now is the use of a remote villa in the middle of nowhere, kindly loaned to him by his dealer, and the desperate hope that this time he can go cold turkey and finally beat his addictions.
Christopher Badcock has created a credible and sympathetic character in Elwood Cathis. The guy’s addictions have driven him to places that no one should go and left him with nothing more than a taste for substances that only temporarily alleviate his problems. More than this, Elwood’s situation, being alone in a cabin in the woods, being so strung out that he can’t fully trust his own senses, all adds to the atmosphere of menace, danger and unknown threat.
I will say that this started out as a little bit of a slow burn for me but this was probably because I was coming into the story after reading a novella and the fast pace of the previous story had me expecting more plot and less character development. But I also think it’s fair to say that slow burns can oftentimes rage with the greatest intensity.
Without venturing into the realm of spoilers, I will say that there were parts of this story that are still haunting me a week after I’d finished reading it. The figure in the spacesuit is going to stay with me forever. It has echoes of Stephen King’s The Shining, or a Cabin in the Woods movie.
I listened to this on audiobook and I have to say that Thomas Gloom’s narration, once again, sold the story beautifully. Gloom gives a diverse range of character, intense mood and a genuine sense of theatre in his performance. Consequently, I needed to listen to this in a well-lit room during daylight hours.
This is another wonderful publication from Darklit Press and has made me eager to read more from Badcock. Those You Killed is well worth every horror fan’s time.