I kindly sent a free digital copy of this book by the author Kevin Doyle. The Litter is a horror novel with a tense atmosphere, here is my review.
When a child goes missing in the Zone, the slum area of a city, nobody cares about what happens to him, except for Karen who searches the streets in a desperate attempt to find him. But with people being brutally murdered and no clear explanation as to why, will she find the boy in time? And what other secrets will she unearth?
‘The Litter’ is a horror novel with a different feel to it. Set mostly in the slum area of a city, known as the ‘Zone’, the book helps draw you into a dark and dismal world right away. The story is told in the third person but switches between characters and locations. This switching doesn’t get confusing though and helps build the story as it has the feel of both a horror and a mystery at the same time.
The main story centres around the character Karen who works at a homeless shelter in the Zone. When one child walks out of the shelter she spends the next few days trying to find him. At the same time people in the Zone are being brutally killed by an unknown force. Karen’s character is well developed as we learn a lot about her back story which sets up how she deals with things happening around her. However, despite being well developed and having reasons for certain behaviour, I couldn’t help but not feel so much for her character as the story went on. Towards the end I was disappointed that there wasn’t more emotion in her especially after something terrible happens in the story.
The horror is well written and you do feel the dark atmosphere of the book. I haven’t read many horror novels to date but this one certainly has a unique feel that Doyle is good at creating. The atmosphere is tense and the story is written in sections, revealing bits and pieces at a time which I enjoyed. I wasn’t surprised by the initial discovery as to what killed the people, and I don’t think many people would be either, however it was a revelation further down the story which got me and I didn’t expect the truth to be what it was.
The book does a good job of keeping you in this dark and tense atmosphere while building the suspense, however I just personally never felt as drawn into it as I had hoped and it’s a shame as I really wanted to connect with this book more. Most of the characters, apart from Karen, had less depth than I would have liked and I would have liked more scenes with and emotion from the reporter Jared. I also think some of the language used in the book made it tougher for me to enjoy this, perhaps a regional thing but some words used were new to my vocabulary, which is a surprise.
The book has one use of the f swear word and milder words used only occasionally. There is no sex but the descriptions of the deaths and attacks are pretty gruesome so I would only recommend this to more mature teens and older.
Overall a good book with a great and unique atmosphere. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked but it’s a good story with a satisfying ending.
Author’s website: http://www.kevindoylefiction.com/
They kept to the shadows so no one would know they existed, and preyed on the nameless who no one would miss. Where did they come from, and who was protecting them? In a city that had seen every kind of savagery, they were something new, something more than murderous. And one woman, who had thought she had lost everything there was to lose in life, would soon find that nothing could possibly prepare her for what would come when she entered their world.