Ever since the release of THE TROOP, Nick Cutter (aka Craig Davidson) has been up there with the best of the current horror novelists. I mean, how could he not be? The guy certainly is capable of delivering the goods. So it comes as no surprise that his latest is no different. LITTLE HEAVEN (Gallery Books) tells the tale of a trio of renegades who unite to fight evil which comes in many different shapes and forms. The setting: an isolated backwoods compound where the work of a cult leader ends up heightening the fear factor of his flock, especially when relating to their children. Either some of those little ones disappear to never come back, or they return as ghostly entities with a big smile on their emaciated faces, as big as IT’s Pennywise, even.
In fact, the novel does tend to borrow from Stephen King’s classic but only from a structural point of view (time periods going forward and backward). The rest is totally Cutter, which may eventually surprise some or disenchant others, depending on your patience. Not that it takes a long while before things start going awry. But when the horror really kicks in nearing the book’s last third, a lot happens; too much even. As if the author needs to constantly wow us. What he brings forth, however, is still quite effective. If the reader makes it through without skipping any of those gruesome images he or she will be rewarded by the author’s vivid imagination—if not by his already impressive narrative, his strong hold on plot and characterization, not to mention his heartfelt of a conclusion that will make anyone yearn to revisit these protagonists’ journey.
What if the evil that men do had always had a fiendish supporter? That’s what Cutter tries and succeeds to convey in this novel (adorned by reproductions of some pivotal scenes by famed artist Adam Gorham). The end result may be a bit flawed, but boy, what an enriching ride LITTLE HEAVEN ends up being.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Until next post—Martin