Monday, 2 December 2013

Recommendation: Lurker - Gary Fry

Gary Fry’s new novella from Darkfuse is called Lurker and it’s a typically twisted and multi-faceted tale. It has a simple horror story set up: after a family tragedy, Meg and her husband move to the Yorkshire coast (obviously they’d never read Fry’s The Respectable Face of Tyranny else they would have known this was a bad idea). At a loose end whilst her husband travels back to the city for his job, Meg explores the local landscape and history, particularly that concerning an abandoned mine. She reads stories in the paper about a tourist who has gone missing, and another tourist turns up claiming to be lost one night at Meg's home. And then there’s the hand-prints all over the white wall of her cottage of a morning, and the disturbing dreams, and...

As you can tell, Fry is spinning a lot of plates in Lurker, but you never sense one begin to wobble. The supernatural elements of the tale are nicely dovetailed with concerns about predatory capitalism throughout the ages, and with the state of Meg’s marriage.

All the while the reader is wondering just how much of Meg’s suspicions are real and how much the product of the grief she has suffered. Ultimately it's a story about how our perceptions might be distorted, or made clearer, by loss. Told in tight, clear prose, and with  some beguilingly creepy images (those concerning hands and hand-prints especially freaked me out) this is another fine tale from Fry. 

Lurker (UK | US)

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