Nyctophobia by Christopher Fowler
Callie is a twenty-six-year-old English architect with some problems. She’s lost her job and her mother is an evil and vindictive banana. But it appears as if all has changed for the better when Callie meets Spanish businessman, Mateo. Although considerably older, and divorced with a nine-year-old daughter, the Andalusian gentleman looks to Callie like her very own knight in shining armour. They wed and buy a house in Mateo’s home region.
But if Callie thought she has issues in the past, they are about to get a whole lot worse. Their new home, called Hyperion House (in English), was built by a very disturbed designer with a vile interest in the occult. Hyperion House becomes both a great love and an intense terror for the young English idealist.
One half of the house is full of sunlight whereas the other is bathed in eternal shadow and darkness. But architect Callie is unable to figure out why it’s been fashioned in this unusual way. As she delves deeper into the house’s sordid past, she becomes convinced that there are other undefined presences residing in the darkened half of her new home. Her investigations drag the truth and the terror into the sunlight.
Well, that’s enough of that. This novel was a load of shit. Although the author, Christopher Fowler, is apparently award-winning, it can’t have been for this garbled effort. He has skills, but plot-setting does not appear to be one of them. Nyctophobia is a confused jumble of suggestion and half-hearted intrigue that contradicts and disappoints.
Rebel Voice won’t go into the plot in any more detail as, honestly, it’s not worth it. Although the initial writing does promise much, it delivers only a busted tomato with all credibility leaking out to the point where the story is effectively mush. The conclusion has to be one of the worst ever written and may make you run out into the street and scream your frustrations at pedestrians. Just remember to put all your clothes on first as it can be embarrassing when old Mrs Kelly from three doors down sees your genitals and looks on you with pity.
As for Nyctophobia – which is a fear of darkness and night and the only informative thing in this novel – leave it be and try a sudoku instead. Hell Train, also written by the same author has been reviewed by Rebel Voice and can be read here:
This was a much better novel and stands in stark contrast to Nyctophobia which is an example of sloppy writing by someone who presents as being more interested in the financial returns as opposed to creating a story worthy of taking up your precious time.
Sult scale rating: 3.5 out of 10. Dire plot that is so bad as to be almost laughable, almost. It’s not quite B-movie material, more’s the pity, and so is a complete waste of time. A chimp on acid could come up with a better plot than this (just look at Trumps’ election manifesto).
If you enjoyed this, please share