Reviews of Dark Fiction

The Searching Dead by Ramsey Campbell

Set in post-war Liverpool, a young man and his two best friends develop concerns about a teacher at their religious school. Soon, the school’s headmaster and the parents of the children develop concerns as well. Is this is a case of bored teenagers with overactive imaginations, or are the kids on to something? You’ll have to read this to find out!

The post-war setting almost became a character itself here. Even though I was born in a city that has a famous armory, I’ve never really pictured in my head what happens to cities and towns when they’re blitzed and bombarded as they were during WWII. I never thought about how long it takes for municipalities to recover, for buildings to be rebuilt, or the fact that some never are.

The coming of age part of the story was multifaceted because not only did we have a very young man, a good man to root for, but we also knew that everything his parents and his structure had taught him throughout life, was now being questioned, up to and including his religion. It made me remember going through the same kinds of thoughts and ideas when I was that age.

The friendships here were honest portrayals, I thought, even though we already knew how they would likely end.

Lastly, though, oooh that evil Mr. Noble…what was he really up to? What was that down in the cellar of his “church?” Isn’t it the worst when no one believes your suspicions? Or maybe it’s the worst when your suspicions come true, and the target of your suspicions knows that YOU know? What happens then? I’m saying nothing more than I’m going to be needing that next book ASAP please!

Thank you to Flame Tree Press for the paperback ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!

The Searching Dead Book Cover The Searching Dead
The Three Births of Daoloth
Ramsey Campbell
Dark Fiction, Horror
Flame Tree Press
Flame Tree Press

“An absolute master of modern horror. And a damn fine writer at that” - Guillermo del Toro


1952. On a school trip to France teenager Dominic Sheldrake begins to suspect his teacher Christian Noble has reasons to be there as secret as they're strange. Meanwhile a widowed neighbour joins a church that puts you in touch with your dead relatives, who prove much harder to get rid of. As Dominic and his friends Roberta and Jim investigate, they can’t suspect how much larger and more terrible the link between these mysteries will become. A monstrous discovery beneath a church only hints at terrors that are poised to engulf the world as the trilogy brings us to the present day…

FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

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