Abra-Cadaver by Matt Drabble. Book review

abraABRA-CADAVER by Matt Drabble,

Eden Publications, 342 p, Kindle £ 1.25

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

During the seventies and eighties I remember when horror novels were about ghosts, vampires, werewolves. They also used the normal scare tactics to get their point across of how horror should get into our minds so we would believe what we read. These days, we are treated to horror advancement; gore, splatterpunk and menacing imagery that stuck in the mind long after it had been read. This story has the new age gore and splatterpunk that so many authors are using nowadays, some to good effect, others maybe not so good.

Abra-Cadaver’s story is simple enough; a group of children are at a 12th Birthday party held for Tommy.  His friends known for being a happy bunch that were always seen together having fun, but after a trick goes horribly wrong, the five of them split up and don’t see each other again. Years after the incident, Tommy is older, yet wiser and returns to Denver Mills only to discover that a mysterious someone is killing the residents one by one using magic tricks to murder them. What Tommy doesn’t know was that several years before, Albert Trotter, a former magician had been locked away for a murder he says he didn’t commit. He still maintains his innocence, yet is beaten up in prison and later taken away to a mental asylum after a breakdown. Knowing this, Tommy has to gather his old friends around him in order to find out who the real killer is.

This in my personal view is very reminiscent of Stephen King’s  IT with the children kept in a state of fear and dread due to the mysterious entity only to have the thing loom over them now that they are all adults. With the addition of magic tricks and magicians being put into what is already an established idea, Abra-Cadaver is an engaging book that is hard to put down once picked up; as the author does explain what happens to the characters has a long lasting effect on everyone. As I said earlier, if you like the sort of horror that has been out since 1986, this will serve to excite and thrill gore fans.