Page Count 256
Publication date Feb 2021
Publisher Flame Tree Press
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…
I found the beginning of The Searching Dead a little slow and rather uninteresting. The characters weren’t really drawing me in and already knowing the story will span decades, I wanted to get to the action.
Campbell put a lot of effort into aligning this story with it’s time in 1950s England. We read a fair amount about Dom’s fathers political opinions, the new Queen and the working class ways of life back then. Although this contributes massively to setting the scene and tone of this part of the novel, I found it a little tedious – give me the horror already! I’ve always been an impatient one.
The words ‘cosmic horror’ were the hook for me, but after a week I’m still only halfway through The Searching Dead and finding any excuse not to read it. I honestly would have given up even sooner if not for my request to review on tour for the lovely AC.
However, for those who enjoy post war England and muted creepy vibes, this book could be for you.
I should also note that many of my most trusted reviewer pals highly rated this book, different strokes and all that. Don’t let me put you off!