Another truly great read from Tim O’Rourke. ‘Dead Flesh’ is told from Keira’s perspective as well as one of her friends. Keira and her friends initially seem to be in limbo after the rollercoaster of previous events. They need to come to terms with everything that has happened and all that they have been through, at the same time as trying to understand their own personal changes and the changes of the different world that they find themselves in.
Again, we have a different type of species with the ‘skin-walkers’ being introduced. Once I completely understood these beings, they became quite fascinating creatures, but also very scary too. I could elaborate here, but would not want to spoil this novel.
The setting, a small town with its main focus on a local boarding school, takes me back to Enid Blyton with the Famous Five. As here we have a group of young people being adventurous and daring in order to seek out solutions to the mysteries surrounding them. The atmosphere through the most part is spooky and eerie, and with Scooby Doo references too,I couldn’t help but think of those great characters and storylines. However, childhood fun aside, Tim O’Rourke adds his own twist by making this novel much more terrifying, gorey and adult-themed.
That is not to say, however, that this novel is completely without any humour. On the contrary, I laughed out loud a few times when reading this book, with one of the characters rifling through woolly knickers, ideas on who ‘The Wolf Man’ may be and the general bickering between certain characters.
On a more serious note, it is obvious from the beginning that Keira and her friends are concerned for their own well-being and are uncertain of a great deal to begin with. Throughout the book the reader is hoping that the characters will focus on each other and there are compassionate moments in there with some intense scenes which will delight the reader.
One of my favourite aspects of Tim O’Rourke’s writing is that he provides enough description for the characetrs and the setting to be understood and connected with. However, there is always room for the reader to use their own imagination for some details, thus making it their own fantasy.
This series is fiction come to life as you envisage and feel whatever the characters are feeling at the time. For example, with the action scenes, you can feel the gore, the blood, the flesh. So much so that it makes you squeamish. It is absolutely fantastic. You feel that you are Keira, or at least a part of her or with her, as she deals with horrific situations and action scenes.
Of all the books in the Keira Hudson series, there are scenes here that truly belong in the ‘horror’ genre. There are spooky, eerie happenings and later on scary, gorey, pulse-throbbing scenes.This is definitely a novel whereby the reader is perched at the edge of their seat.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker