Below by Kev Harrison

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Well Kev Harrison has done it again – another ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read for me!

He’s crafted a delightfully dark and mischievous tale of caving, or exploring and folklore – the Knockers are something I know about from my own research and was delighted to see them mentioned in this story.

With prose that is quick and sharp as a blade Harrison drags the reader by the scruff of the neck into the dark and oppressive environment of what’s below, our fingers reach out blindly for purchase but as the story progresses and the energy that is in the prose ramps up, our nails that have found purchase are pulled from their fleshy homes and we’re dragged bloody and bruised into the mine and what awaits us.

The characters that Harrison has born in this story live long in the memory, and that is something Harrison does well, fully rounded individuals that are grounded in reality, some you like, some you hate, some remind you of that annoying friend you once had. They are the gel that holds this claustrophobic tale together and we journey with them and are fully invested in their plight.

I love how Harrison also keeps the horrors hidden in this story, leaving it to the reader to conjure what stalks in the shadows, it harks back to the best of horror fiction and films where you don’t show the horrors. And in doing this Harrison also showcases a sensory journey for us, where sight is limited our characters are forced to hear and feel and smell things and this all adds to the claustrophobic vibe that is the rich pulse in the book.

I loved it and read the whole thing in a day, the prose just pulls the reader through, thinking… I’ll just read one more chapter, and before you know it you’ve read several. It had vibes of ‘The Descent’ in its chilling terror and sense of isolation – but it was gripping in all the right ways.

The only issue I have is with the ending, it’s nothing that deserves stars to be removed, and is probably more down to personal taste but I was wanting something to happen and it didn’t, but I can also see the beauty in the resolution that Harrison came to.

Available from Amazon from by Silver Shamrock Publishing

Kev Harrison

Kev Harrison is a writer of dark fiction and English language teacher from England, living and working in Lisbon, Portugal. He has previously lived in various areas of the UK, as well as Turkey and Poland.

He is a staff writer for This is Horror and has had short fiction published in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including Lost Films, from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Below the Stairs: Tales From The Cellar from Things in the Well, Aphotic Realm Magazine’s ‘Fangs’ issue and ‘In Darkness Delight: Creatures of the Night from Corpus Press. He has also had short fiction featured on The Other Stories and Tales to Terrify podcasts.

He has two entries in Demain Publishing’s Short Sharp Shocks series: ‘Cinders of A Blind Man Who Could See’ and ‘Curfew’. His debut novella ‘The Balance’, is available now from Lycan Valley Press and his debut collection ‘Paths Best Left Untrodden’ is out now from Northern Republic.

His forthcoming novella, ‘Below’ will be available August 2021 from Silver Shamrock Publishing

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