Tuesday 19 January 2016

Recommendation: Blood RED by Paul Kane

Nowadays, readers are wise to lycanthropes, so if you’re going to write a new werewolf story, you’d better have an interesting twist up your sleeve. Fortunately for readers of Blood RED, Paul Kane has two.

Both are revealed pretty early on, so can safely be talked about without fear of spoilers. Blood RED actually comprises of two interlinked stories, the novella Red and the short title novel. The gory opening scene of Red, where someone comes to a very unpleasant fate in a restaurant toilet, lets the reader know the first twist Kane has on standard lycanthropy: his shape-shifters can look like anyone when they change back to human form. It’s a change that makes intrinsic sense–if a creature can change its body-form so completely, why would it always need to look like the same person?–and adds a atmosphere of paranoia to the story. Red’s central character is a young woman called Rachel, a carer whose work takes her into some of her home city’s grimmest and dangerous housing estates. It’s an urban setting that completely suits the new contemporary, paranoid style of Kane’s narrative, as Rachel is hunted by a creature that could look like anyone.

The second twist Kane brings to his werewolf tales is that it soon becomes clear that despite its modern setting of concrete sink estates and cheap nightclubs, Red is actually a clever retelling of that much older tale, Red Riding Hood. This isn’t just a clever meta-textual trick (although the way Kane works echoes of the fairy tale into his story is clever) but is actually part of the fictional world as well, forming a key part of the creature’s motivation.

Blood RED follows directly on from the events in Red, hence is harder to talk about without spoilers. Whilst the folk tale echoes are less overt than in Red, the concluding novel still provides plenty of interesting twists on the werewolf formula. There’s a touch of Dracula about the narrative as well, as a band of characters gather together to hunt out the creature which has wreaked so much havoc in Rachel’s life.

The style of these two stories is very much old-school eighties horror, with plenty of gore and a smattering of sexiness. Kane sure knows how to write an action scene, and as the narrative progresses and the stakes are raised the set-pieces only get bigger and more dramatically constructed. Few horror stories described as ‘page-turners’ actually deserve the term, but Blood RED is an exception.

Blood RED (UK US)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks of recommending such as beautiful horror and crime combined film for myself because i love to watch the horror and crime movies more in number comparing to other genre of movies. Though, i have been working hard by getting indulged in day and night work of preparing high quality research paper creation work in my research writing service website, i love to watch the horror and crime movies. Since the thrill and the knot present in the story will be kept unfolded till the end of the story, i really love more to watch such films. thanks for proposing such a story for myself too. Waiting to read such more story reviews from your blog.