Up and coming horror author Mike Duke first came on to my radar when I read his disturbing novel Warm Dark Places are Best. When his new work Low came out I bought it expecting something similar to the book I had already read. I was totally wrong.
The two works are so different that if you had given me a copy of each with the author name removed I would have never guessed they were written by the same person.
Low is an epic book in every sense of the word, it reminds me of a mish-mash of all the better parts of early Clive Barker and Stephen King novels with the unique addition of this talented authors own clear and powerful voice. Vividly imagined, brilliantly executed and the kind of page turner that comes along all too rarely. There is depth and substance to the complex plot that elevates above the flood of indie published horror that currently muddies the waters of the genre.
Officer Mark Adams is fed up with God, his wife and the legal constraints of his job. He longs for a life he can enjoy and to see true justice meted out.
Chad Bigleby is a lawyer thrown into a deadly moral quagmire, forced to decide whether he will abide by man’s laws or make his own. Each man is being driven to the edge of his limits. Both men are on a collision course.
All because something wicked has arrived in Pleasant Grove, something ancient and obsessed with vengeance, eager to punish the souls of men for their sins.
How LOW will they go to get what they desire most? And what will it cost them in the end? Hell only knows.
This blurb sketches out the basics of one of the best and fully realized plot lines I have had the pleasure of reading in recent years. The author is a master at creating fully fleshed out characters and moving through tension wrought situations realistically. The supernatural elements are handled deftly and convincingly and honestly they could be removed and a great story would remain but adding them makes this a horror masterpiece.
So I give Mike Duke‘s Low a full five bananas on the SciFi Monkeys scale, keep an eye on this author horror fans it is inevitable that Hollywood comes knocking at Mike Duke’s door sooner rather than later. I can only hope that the talented bastard invites me to the premier.