Book Review: Dead Shift -John Llewellyn Probert


First thing: That cover art is superb and as soon as I saw this I knew that this was going to be a fun read.

Lets not beat around the bush. There is a hell of a lot of Lovecraftian fiction out there. But when it is done well, the results are truly wonderful. As you can probably guess, the scene for this novella is set inside a hospital.  The story begins with an old man summoning an inter-dimensional entity through a sacred book! The staff members of the hospital must find a way to reverse the spell that has been cast and send the creatures back to where they came from.

I’d never read anything by John Llewellyn Probert before but having done some digging I realised that he’d been around for some time. Probert’s novella is rooted firmly in the horror genre but there is some great humour sprinkled throughout this story. The witty dialogue between the three main characters is terrific and keeps this story from falling into the ‘just another Lovecraft tribute’ pile.

I am not always a big fan of humour in my horror. Sometimes if there is too much of it, the story starts to feel forced and I question whether the author really has a story to tell! Probert doesn’t let this happen. The laughs are very funny and the creatures created are ones that ol’ H.P. would be proud of.

This is a great novella, heaps of fun with some unpleasant scenes, great humour and a fantastic ending too. The characters and the setting are terrific. The dialogue is spot on and the story wastes no time in getting going with the pace being fast and furious right up until the finale.

Fans of Lovecraftian style horror will have a hell of a time here. Highly recommended.

‘Dead Shift’ is another fine release from Horrific Tales Publishing and is available here.

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