Review – Cracking Concrete

June 22, 2011 - 6:59 pm No Comments

The Concrete Grove

Author:  Gary McMahon   

Publisher: Solaris Books

Price:  £7.99 (Paperback)

Page count:  382pp

Reviewer:  Theresa Derwin

Moving into a deprived council estate area, The Concrete Grove, 14yr old Hailey starts to have unimaginable nightmares and experiences that she at first puts down to the loss of her father and the previously well-to-do upbringing she had. But there is something dark hiding in the Grove. Hailey and her Mom Lana both sense it. New neighbour Tom senses it too and investigating the strange goings on at the Grove together, offers him escape from his world as carer for his disabled wife. Together they start to fight against local hoodlum Monty Bright and his criminal empire. Together, they enter an urban world of new nightmares.

The Concrete Grove, book one of a trilogy is a stunning piece of writing with moments that are poignant, disturbing, emotional, distinctly eww and outright scary.  I never imagined that hummingbirds could be frightening until reading this book. 

McMahon shows us the darkness unfurling beneath the Estates – the crime and drug ridden darkness we know of – and the hidden darkness peering around the corner invading our hopes and dreams.  With its symbolic and important imagery of trees and breathing vegetation, this novel is a forest of decay and horror.  Natural earthy symbolism flows through its entire structure from acorns to oaks, to bugs and twigs and everything in between its rotten earth.

McMahon has nailed the art of horror and is at the forefront of the British new wave of ‘mundane’ horror now emerging.

This is simply a stunning novel and I look forward to book two in the trilogy.

If you want to know more about McMahon’s latest projects take a look at his website Gary McMahon.

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