Title: The Last Plague
Author: Rich Hawkins
Publisher: Crowded Quarantine Publications
Purchase from: Amazon
Review by: John Milton
‘The Last Plague’ is the debut novel from British author Rich Hawkins and principally follows the plight of four friends marking the impending marriage of one of their number on a stag weekend. As I’m sure you can guess from the brief synopsis provided, not all goes according to plan.
Without betraying too much about the plot, this is NOT a zombie story and is far from average horror fayre. With this book, Hawkins has conjured up a legion of nightmarish creatures and unleashed them on England, sparing none of his characters from their murderous onslaught.
The fact that this is the first novel length offering from Hawkins is belied by the quality of the writing here, with highly descriptive narrative prose, leaving little for the reader to guess at. Hawkins’ particular style will sate even the most inured gorehound, with evisceration, death, dismemberment and the rending of flesh seemingly par for the course in this title.
On what may be viewed as an overly critical point, Hawkins may be guilty of overuse of some particular vocabulary here. However, it is a small point to note and doesn’t detract from the quality of the work. Thankfully, Hawkins has stepped away from making any of his central characters ex-special forces or gun-toting cops. The four men on the stag weekend are ordinary guys facing an extraordinary situation and subsequently, their thoughts and motivation are notable for being more realistic than perhaps those that may be found in other horror tales, given that one of the prevailing expressions of emotion here is absent in many similar tales: fear. Despite being a fairly straightforward action based plot, it is the reactions and interactions between the characters that really allow this tale to come into its own. These men are struggling to survive and make it home to their loved ones.
Described as “violent”, “gruesome”, “gory”; ‘The Last Plague’ weighs in at more than 500 pages and the author has lain waste to, at the very least, the south of England, with an army of monsters of indeterminate origins that’s only desire seems to be the consumption of human flesh.
If you’re not persuaded by my review then take a look at that cover. That beautifully horrific cover tells you all you need to know to convince you to part with your hard-earned cash and pick this book up.
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