Zaffre | 2019 (25 July) | 416p | Review copy | Buy the book
Nolan Moore hosts The Anomaly Files, a YouTube show that explores unsolved mysteries and allows Nolan to flounce around in a large, gaping white shirt under the scornful, sneering gaze of his cynical producer and crew. Time has passed since their last adventure, recorded in The Anomaly, and Nolan is ready for more. Although this time they’ll stick above ground and try not to die.
They arrive in the remote, small town of Birchlake in northern California to investigate the mysterious low walls that spiral their way around the town and its woodland. Noone knows who built them or why. The producer, Ken, thinks this is all rather dull, but the chances of getting killed do seem significantly reduced from their previous case. A low wall hardly seems dangerous, And then they learn about the missing teenage girl. Strange noises soon follow. Then comes the fear.
I loved The Anomaly and I was very keen to return to Nolan and his colleagues. Nolan is a personable, likeable man, interested in the strangest of things, full of endless useless facts, and he is very funny, not always intentionally. Certainly his colleagues think he’s funny, and not necessarily in a good way. But I love them all, perhaps all the more because of their griping, moaning and arguing. We get to know more about Nolan here, too, thanks to the appearance of his journalist ex-wife.
I love to be scared when I read horror and The Possession definitely gave me the heebie jeebies. I’m not sure it’s as scary as The Anomaly and the setting isn’t as terrifying as that horrible cave, but it’s nevertheless steeped in atmosphere and mist.
Once again, this is a very well-written, witty novel with glittering dialogue. There are plenty of smiles along the way to go with the thrills and the loud bumps in the night and so I gobbled up the pages. The highlight for me is most definitely Nolan Moore. He is a fantastic creation. I can’t wait to see what mystery he tackles next. But I do know I’m glad I’m not going with him. He’s a man who attracts ghouls and monsters like noone else. If only more people watched his YouTube channel…