Search Results for: HATER

The Final War begins tomorrow

ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING is released tomorrow, and I’ve just got time to pass on a couple of snippets of information I haven’t had chance to share before.

First, the second HATER trilogy now has a name. My editor and I racked our brains long and hard about what to call the new series, and we went through a number of options before settling on our final choice. Cast your minds back to THEM OR US, and you’ll be able to find the genesis for the title… there’s no going back for the human race after the events of the HATER books. The fighting will continue until there’s no one left, so there’s no question that this is THE FINAL WAR.

Second bit of news – the ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING audiobook is also out this week from Macmillan Audio. The excellent chap who narrated the previous HATER audiobooks, Gerard Doyle, is back behind the microphone. Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite.

I’d like to close this little pre-release round-up with a few words on the new book from Chris Hall of DLS Reviews. Chris has been following my work for a long time and he writes some of the most well-considered reviews on the web. So you can imagine how pleased I was when he finished off his review of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING with these comments:

This is Moody doing what he does best.  This is his natural environment.  His turf.  This is how he writes his very best work.  And it’s utterly, uncompromisingly, gut-wrenching stuff.  The novel rips you out of your safe and snug world and thrusts you into an environment where anyone can turn on you in the blink of an eye.  It’s hard-hitting, head-poundingly tense, and drenched from head to toe in blood-splattered cruelty.

A near-perfect example of humanity fucking up as our last card is played.

The book hits the shelves tomorrow. Don’t forget, signed copies are available exclusively from www.infectedbooks.co.uk.

Feeling Genuinely Uneasy

Honest post time… I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so nervous for the release of a new book before. ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING hits the shelves in less than a week and I really don’t know what the reaction’s going to be like. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled with how the book’s turned out, but there’s a lot riding on this. It’s my first major release for a while, and after a few tricky years where writing and I didn’t get on too well, I’m back and I’m nervous to learn if/where I now fit in the modern horror landscape.

ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING is a very different book to HATER, and I worry that people will pick up the new novel expecting more of the same. If you do, you might be disappointed. The original three books exclusively told Danny McCoyne’s story while the new trilogy has a different focus entirely, much wider. I’m also mindful that this is the beginning of a trilogy, and whilst I already know how it’s all going to fit together and who’s going to survive, and where we’ll be jumping in and out of the events of the earlier books, you lot don’t. Perhaps it’s just the self-imposed pressure of following up my most successful novel that’s making me feel so uneasy?

I should shut up and stop writing this post. It’s probably just writer’s paranoia kicking in again. I’m sure any of you who write will have experienced something similar. When you’re planning a book, before you make even a single mark on the very first page, you’re certain it’s going to be the best thing ever. You then go through every kind of emotional up and down imaginable as you’re actually writing the damn thing, and you often end the job with a very real, but also temporary, sense of victory and validation. As you prepare to release your precious creation into the wild, doubt sets in again. You start convincing yourself (well I do, anyway) that no one’s going to buy it and read it, and the merest negative comment in a review hurts like a dagger to the heart whereas glowing praise is hard to accept and believe.

So I just want to say thank you to Peter Wolverton and all at St Martin’s Press for taking a chance on another HATER series, and thanks also to those of you who are planning on picking up the book (or have already). Despite everything I’ve said here, I genuinely can’t wait to be able to talk about ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING with you once you’ve read it. Until then, I’ll be sitting in front of my computer screen obsessing over sales ranks and combing the internet for feedback and reviews. I will actually do some work as well, because I’m almost finished with book two, and it’s been an absolute blast diving back into the deadly, grimy, trouble- and violence-filled world of the DOG BLOOD era. Did I tell you that the second book has been renamed? The new title perfectly sums up both the setting and the emotion of the book: ALL ROADS END HERE.

Good news, bad news, and good news

Good news – all the orders which have so far been placed for signed first edition hardcover copies of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING have now been dispatched.

Bad news – following a couple of orders received this afternoon, we’re now out of stock of the new book. Here’s a photo of the current state of the shelves I showed you in my last post. Note the (almost) total absence of ONE OF US…

Good news – you can still order signed copies of the book direct from www.infectedbooks.co.uk. A new order will be placed with the publisher in the coming days, and all back orders will be dispatched as soon as they arrive. You can also order (unsigned) copies of the book from AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryIndiebound and all other good bookstores ahead of the official release in just over a week’s time.

And finally, in further good news – we’ve updated www.infectedbooks.co.uk and Amazon Pay is now accepted as an alternative to Paypal.

ALIENS versus PADDINGTON

Forgive the clickbait title of this post, there is a serious point to this. I regularly recommend films here, but today’s recommendation is completely out of character and I wanted to give you some context. I saw PADDINGTON 2 this weekend just gone, and it was quite simply one of the best films I’ve seen. I laughed a lot, I cried a bit, and I loved it completely.

I’d read a review before seeing the film which said “Following a year of big-budget disappointments, this sequel is an hour and forty minutes of absolute joy.” That’s played on my mind since we left the cinema, and I decided to devote a little time to trying to work out why some sequels work whilst many others don’t. Looking back through other movies I’ve watched this year, one particular film stood out as an obvious counterpoint to PADDINGTON 2’s success, and that’s ALIEN: COVENANT. Yes, these are diametrically opposite movies intended for wholly different audiences, but they’re both sequels and therefore have certain things in common. Bear with me and I’ll explain (pun absolutely not intended – I may be a hack at times, but I’m not that bad).

In the interests of full disclosure, I have a real affection for PADDINGTON. I grew up watching and reading about the furry little bugger, and my wife and I made sure to indoctrinate our daughters in the cult of the little bear from darkest Peru before they were old enough to protest. My wife’s far, far worse than me, by the way. She has it really bad. She has a Paddington tattoo (honest).

Also in the interests of full disclosure, I love the ALIEN movies and will watch every single one that’s made, no matter what. The first and second (and third, to a lesser extent) films are ground-breaking in many ways. Ridley Scott’s original 1979 film in particular is incredibly influential and had a huge impact on me back in the day. It’s a masterclass in creeping, claustrophobic terror and features a creature which, to my mind, remains one of the ultimate movie monsters.

Sequels are funny things. ALIENS, for example, is often cited along with THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and TERMINATOR 2 as a prime example of how to do it right, but for every good sequel there are many, many more inferior follow-up films. So why am I so enthusiastic about PADDINGTON 2 but was underwhelmed by COVENANT?

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One Of Us Will Be Dead By Morning – read the opening chapter

“She gasps for breath, her mind in overload, struggling to work out what, who, how, and why? and at the same time trying to cope with the most horrific pain imaginable. It fills her whole body, hurting so much it steals her breath from her lungs. Her arms give way and she hits the deck and rolls over onto her back, looking up into the rain and spray. She’s numb and slow to move, and the chain lashes down again and again. She instinctively raises her hands to protect her face, but it does her no good. Busted fingers, split skin, broken teeth, more blood, and so much more pain that it almost stops hurting.”

Less than a month now until the new HATER novel – ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING – hits the shelves. You can read the gruesome, tone-setting first chapter right here.

In the meantime, don’t forget that signed copies are exclusively available to pre-order from this link. They’ll be shipping shortly, so please get your orders in quick.

One Of Us Will Be Dead By Morning

ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING

Chapter One

 

The air here is filled with noise. The low, belly-shaking, rough-roaring engine grind clashes with the crashing of the waves. The freshness of the sea water salt tang is offset by the stench of diesel fumes. Rolling and tipping, listing this way then that, climbing the surf then crashing back down. It feels non-stop. Chaotic. Barely controlled. All-consuming.

And yet, over all of this, most of the kids are oblivious. The adults charged with looking after them struggle to make themselves heard: angry yells compete with excited, high-pitched screams and lose out every time. They’re desperately trying to find their sea legs while the kids they’re supposed to be looking after run rings around them. The patience of the adults is limited, already wearing thin. The energy of the kids, on the other hand, seems to know no bounds.

It’s too early for this, Joanne Hillman thinks. She never wanted to come on this stupid school trip anyway, but Dad had made her. It might have been bearable if Jackie hadn’t backed out last week (like she always does). And Louise has been acting weird all morning, keeping herself to herself and barely saying anything to anyone like the whole world’s against her. Dad said it would be good for Joanne to spend some time away from home, to force her out of her shell and make her mix with people, but she’s quite happy in her shell on her own, thank you very much, Dad.

She sits on the bench on the wooden deck and watches the churning waves, swinging her feet and pulling her waterproof jacket tight around her to keep out the cold and the spray. She should still be in bed. Normally she wouldn’t be up for hours yet. She’d just about got used to the idea of being away from home, but the collywobbles (as Mum calls them) set in last night, and right now she’d rather be anywhere but here. She feels sick: a combination of the constant rolling motion and her nervous belly. And this is just the beginning. She has a whole week to get through. Grasp the opportunity, Dad kept telling her yesterday. Make the most of it. You’ll be back before you know it. Dad really does talk a lot of crap sometimes, Joanne thinks. Trouble is, when you’re thirteen and a half, a week feels like forever.

She thinks about insignificant stuff to try to distract herself. If she wastes time thinking about nothing, she reckons, then the days should go by that much faster. She knows it’s an illusion because time never speeds up or slows down, but right now that illusion is just about the only thing she’s got left to hold on to. The week stretches out ahead of her like a prison sentence. Days and days away from home and her bedroom and the TV and the cat with no chance of early release. She’s already marking time like a convict. About a hundred and seventy-five hours before she gets back, she’s worked out. She puts in her headphones and cranks up the volume to drown everything out.

Too wrapped up in her music and her miserable, melancholy thoughts to care what’s happening elsewhere, Joanne’s blissfully oblivious of the chaos unfolding just meters away from where she’s sitting. She doesn’t hear the screams, she doesn’t sense the panic, and she doesn’t see the kid approaching. The kid who’s about to kill her.

The first she knows of the attack is a vicious swipe around the left side of her head. The weapon is actually a length of chain taken from the safety railings, but when it hits, it feels rigid like a length of lead pipe, and it burns like nothing she’s ever felt before. Joanne’s on all fours with her ear split and blood running into her eyes and mouth before she knows what’s happening. She gasps for breath, her mind in overload, struggling to work out what, who, how, and why? and at the same time trying to cope with the most horrific pain imaginable. It fills her whole body, hurting so much it steals her breath from her lungs. Her arms give way and she hits the deck and rolls over onto her back, looking up into the rain and spray. She’s numb and slow to move, and the chain lashes down again and again. She instinctively raises her hands to protect her face, but it does her no good. Busted fingers, split skin, broken teeth, more blood, and so much more pain that it almost stops hurting.

And the last three things she thinks before she loses consciousness are these: I’m really scared. I want Dad. Then: I know you . . . why are you hurting me? And then: Am I going to die now?

Joanne passes out and her killer loses interest. Job done.

As a hastily improvised weapon, the coiled chain-whip is devastatingly effective. Simple and brutal. A single lash cuts down two more unwitting victims. Bones snap like dry twigs. Lesions and lacerations. Blood everywhere. Indiscriminate. Unchecked. Unstoppable.

A boy cowering way over to the killer’s right tries to run for cover, but his way through is blocked by Joanne’s fallen body, and all that his frantic, scrambling movement achieves is to draw attention to the fact his being there. Might as well have painted a target on his back. The attack is fast and intense and he’s dead in seconds.

Belowdecks the engine grind muffles the noise. A sudden stampede from above is the first indication that something’s wrong: a flood of kids running for cover, tripping and falling over each other down slippery wet metal steps to get out of the way.

When Roger Freeman goes up to investigate, his first reaction is one of utter disbelief. The disbelief is immediately replaced by panic. It takes a couple of seconds for him to fully comprehend what he’s seeing because it’s so unexpected and so wrong. It’s a damn massacre. Death and violence everywhere. He forces himself to go out onto the deck—no plan, just a sense of duty and his instinct to protect driving him forward—but he’s held up by the mass of terrified kids still trying to go the other way.

Roger’s in clear space now, and as he walks out onto the deck, the killer strides towards him with a vicious intent way beyond her years. She’s growing in confidence with every attack, beginning to understand what she’s doing and why she’s doing it. A small boy gets in the way at the exact wrong moment, and, finding himself within range of her unforgiving chain-weapon, he bears the brunt of the savage strike meant for Roger. All Roger wants is to run, but adrenaline keeps him focused. He does what he can to try to halt the inexplicable massacre, acting without thinking because he’s responsible for these kids and he knows that every second he delays, more of them will die.

The weapon lashes down across another young face, spraying blood and spit and teeth. The end of it flails and wraps around a handrail, and Roger lunges and grabs it before she can uncoil it and whip it back. He grips even tighter as the chain is almost yanked from his grasp, then he uses it to reel in the killer.

Roger’s acutely aware of the risk he’s taking and the danger he’s now facing. But it doesn’t feel like danger. There’s confusion more than anything else because he’s struggling to understand how and why things have changed, and what the kid in front of him has become. Earlier this morning the two of them sat and chatted at the harbour while they waited to leave, talking in-depth about nothing in particular as the sun rose over the town. Roger was reassuring and supportive as ever, offering whatever advice he could. The kids all like Roger. They trust him. She trusted him.

But now he can’t understand the look in his soon-to-be-murderer’s eyes. This morning there was an innocence was there, an unspoken vulnerability. Typical early-teenage cockiness, the first inkling of maturity tempered with an undeniable childlike fragility bubbling just below the surface. She was telling him about the boy bands she likes, and he was teasing her about their pretty-boy looks and how all bands sound the same to him these days, and how music was real music when he was a lad with proper instruments and lyrics that meant something. She took it all in good spirits and they laughed and joked about the gulf between their likes and dislikes until it was time to get on the boat.

All gone now.

Nothing left but the Hate.

Roger tries to fight back as best he can, but it’s difficult when you don’t want to hurt the person who’s trying to kill you. Holding the chain in one hand like a dog’s leash, he swings a reluctant punch, which misses its mark. Off-balance now, he struggles to keep track of his assailant, who, lightning fast, driven by an intense ferocity he himself clearly lacks, slips around and behind him and reverses their positions. She climbs up onto a wooden bench, wraps the chain around his neck, then pulls harder and harder until Roger’s eyes bulge wide. As he starts to choke, she bites down and takes a zombie-like chunk out of the side of his neck. But there’s no horror-movie flesh-eating here, just unadulterated and uncontained aggression, an insatiable desire to kill. She yanks her head back, teeth still clamped down hard, and tears away a ragged ribbon of skin.

Utter mayhem is everywhere now. Hysteria. Bodies strewn across the deck. Everyone’s aware of what’s happening, but on the boat there’s no possibility of escape and they all know it. Some jump overboard in desperation, figuring that even the slightest sliver of possible salvation in the ice-cold water is better than no chance at all. Others run from the diminutive killer en masse, doing whatever they can to put maximum distance between themselves and their inevitable deaths. They fight with each other to get away. Friendships are forgotten, relationships betrayed. In the blink of an eye, everything has been reset. All that matters now is self-preservation. Fuck everyone and everything else.

Following the lead of others they’ve seen, even more of them jump now, succeeding only in assuring themselves of a different kind of death, maybe even bringing the end of their lives forward by a few minutes. But then again, maybe that’s not such a bad thing? Perhaps still having a choice counts for something as your final minutes and seconds tick away? When faced with almost certain annihilation, is there something to be said for going out on your own terms, or is it better just to resign yourself and let it happen? The quicker and more violent the end, perhaps, the less it will hurt overall.

Or maybe there’s no thought to any of this, no reasoning. Just instinct. Panic and dread.

The killer is becoming increasingly assured, feeding off the cumulative fear of her victims. She had a few anxious seconds before her first kill (hard to believe it was just a matter of minutes ago) when the nerves were hard to handle and the deed was hard to do. But the longer she’s been in the grip of the Hate, the easier it has become. It’s not a case of wanting to kill, it’s about having to do it. And like the few remaining Unchanged, who herd away like frightened sheep from a hungry wolf, the killer is equally concerned with self-preservation. The only way to ensure she stays alive is to eliminate the enemy. Every last fucking one of them.

The Unchanged are no match for the unbridled ferocity of a Hater. They cannot compete with the girl’s instinctive aggression. There’s an unspoken clarity and certainty to this Hater’s bloodlust, and there’s only one way this is going to end.

The Hate is here, and there is no escape.

ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING will be published on 5 December by Thomas Dunne Books

Pre-order now: Indiebound · Amazon · iBooks · The Book Depository

SIGNED COPIES AVAILABLE HERE

A starred review from BOOKLIST for ONE OF US…

Not long now until ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING hits the shelves, and the novel has received a starred review from BOOKLIST. “Moody really knows how to write creeping, claustrophobic terror, effectively sneaking up on his readers and, finally, scaring the life out of them. Top-drawer horror.” Very happy with that!

Pre-order your signed copy today.

The book is released in hardcover by Thomas Dunne Books on 5 December, and pre-orders will be shipped by that date (if not a little before). You can also order the book from AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryIndiebound and all other good bookstores. Ebooks are also available, and an audio version is coming soon.

THE RITUAL

I first met ADAM NEVILL in 2011, shortly after our mutual US publisher asked me to write a cover quote for THE RITUAL. If you look at my post about the book, you’ll see that he and I were born a year apart in the same city, but it took the involvement of St Martin’s Press in New York for our paths to cross. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few horror conventions with Adam recently (next up – The Birmingham Horror Con Halloween Special next weekend) and it’s been great to catch up again and compare experiences. Adam recently moved into independent publishing, and I wholeheartedly recommend his two recent short story collections.

The film adaptation of THE RITUAL opened in the UK last weekend, and knowing the book well and having had opportunity to discuss the production of the film with Adam (and the frustrations of film-making for authors – which we talked about on a panel in Liverpool recently – photo below courtesy of Dan Burgess Photography) I was keen to watch it. It didn’t disappoint.

Here’s the blurb and the trailer. Click the link below for my thoughts.

Four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle. No longer young men, they have little left in common and tensions rise as they struggle to connect. Frustrated and tired they take a shortcut that turns their hike into a nightmare that could cost them their lives.

Lost, hungry and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, they stumble across an isolated old house. Inside, they find the macabre remains of old rites and pagan sacrifices; ancient artefacts and unidentifiable bones. A place of dark ritual and home to a bestial presence that is still present in the ancient forest, and now they’re the prey.

As the four friends struggle toward salvation they discover that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees…

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Recommended Reading – THE DARKEST HAND trilogy

I recently had the pleasure of reading TARN RICHARDSON’S THE DARKEST HAND trilogy. The final book in the series – THE RISEN – was released earlier this year. This is an excellent series of books which deserves to find a wide audience. Set in Europe in an alternative twentieth century against the backdrop of World War I, it’s the story of Inquisitor Poldek Tacit. Tacit is sent by the Catholic Inquisition to investigate the murder of a priest in France, and finds himself neck deep in a battle between demons, werewolves, and heretics to prevent the world spiralling into oblivion. Don’t get the impression that Tacit is a quiet little fellow in robes wandering around Europe dispensing words of wisdom to placate the opposing sides – he’s anything but. He’s a battle-damaged, emotionally scarred, vicious, ruthless bastard, and one of the most entertaining protagonists I’ve read about in a long, long time.

I had a blast with these books, and I’d like to encourage you to do the same. Here’s the spiel for book one, THE DAMNED:

1914 – the outbreak of war. In the French city of Arras, a priest is brutally murdered. The Catholic Inquisition—still powerful, but now working in the shadows—sends its most determined and unhinged of Inquisitors, Poldek Tacit, to investigate: his mission to protect the Church from those who would seek to undermine it, no matter what the cost.

Yet as Tacit arrives, armed forces led by Britain and Germany confront each other across No Man’s Land. As the Inquisitor strives in vain to establish the truth behind the murder and to uncover the motives of other Vatican servants seeking to undermine him, a beautiful and spirited woman, Sandrine, warns British soldier Henry Frost of a mutual foe even more terrible lurking beneath the killing fields that answers to no human force and wreaks havoc by the light of the moon.

Faced with impossible odds and his own demons, Tacit must battle the forces of evil, and a church determined at all costs to achieve its aims, to reach the heart of a dark conspiracy that seeks to engulf the world, plunging it ever deeper into conflict.

This is the perfect time to pick up THE DAMNED and work your way through the trilogy. The first book is the next novel to be featured on the excellent IN THE SHEETS podcast, hosted by Brendan Cooney. Head over to the site and join the discussion. And while you’re there, there’s still time to take part in the HATER re-read. I’ll be joining Brendan later this month to talk about HATER and answer questions about the novel, the rest of the series and the film adaptation etc.

THE DARKEST HAND trilogy – THE DAMNED, THE FALLEN and THE RISEN – is available now. Find out more about Tarn at his website. You can also pick up THE HUNTED, a free ebook prequel, and dive into Richardson’s bloody and brutal world. Highly recommended!

ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING – preorder your signed copy today

Lots of people have been asking, so here you go. You can preorder a signed hardcover copy of ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING now from this link.

The book is released in hardcover by Thomas Dunne Books on 5 December, and pre-orders will be shipped by that date (if not a little before). You can also order the book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, Indiebound and all other good bookstores. Ebooks are also available, and an audio version is coming soon.