Rich Hawkins has gone all indie and self-published a novelette in the form of ‘Fallen Soldier’. Leaving the Plague trilogy behind, Hawkins brings us the tale of Joseph – a man returning home from the war, haunted by his fallen comrades. When poor Joseph returns he finds all is not as well as it once was. Father seems guarded and mother isn’t what she used to be.
I am a big fan of Mr Hawkins. ‘The Last Outpost’ was my favourite book of 2015. It was a desperate tale that followed a man’s journey into nothingness and hopelessness as a country ravaged by a horrific plague turns itself inside out. ‘Fallen Soldier’ isn’t anything to do with the plague stories but does have the same bleak, soured atmosphere that Hawkins seems so comfortable with.
The opening passage sets the scene for the rest of the book. It isn’t happy reading and that is good, because I don’t want it to be. Hawkins writing has certainly come on, particularly with his descriptions. I love to read things like “the red-slick rooms of his mind”; it really does give his writing that extra punch when describing the surroundings and feelings. ‘Fallen Soldier’ is a quick read, but it is a good one. I thought it was heading in a certain direction which would’ve made it a little predictable, but thankfully it doesn’t and the ending was great. It didn’t quite have the emotional punch that I got when I read his Year of Zombie entry ‘The Plague Winter’ but it is still top draw.
Pick up a copy of ‘Fallen Soldier’ from here.