Roadkill by Joseph D’Lacey. Book review

roadkillROADKILL by Joseph D’Lacey,

This Is Horror, limited edition p/b (125 copies) £4.99, www.thisishorror.co.uk

Reviewed by Phil Ambler

This Is Horror, and editor-in-chief Michael Wilson, are building a reputation for producing some great little chapbooks featuring many of the rising stars of the UK horror scene. Their latest offering Roadkill comes from the pen of British Fantasy Award winning author Joseph D’Lacey.

Being a chapbook, Roadkill is short, very short. You’ll race through its pages within the best part of half an hour or so but does the quality override the quantity?

Set in the wastelands of a post-apocalyptic future, Roadkill sees two of the Gentleborn competing in a high speed road race to decide their destinies. Visions of Mad Max flooded my mind as the scenes flashed by before me. We are given a gruelling, no-holds barred, in your face front seat experience as we race through the Final Five, a five mile stretch of unknown challenges, strapped  in with our anonymous protagonist. We live through 100 seconds of high octane survival at 184mph as we strive to reach the Edge. Yet we experience so much more.

D’Lacey thrusts us unapologetically into an alien world of tribes, ritual and sacrifice which makes us yearn to be a part of it. This is more than just action, bluster and bravado. There is a carefully constructed mythos here, hinted hierarchies which speak of hidden secrets known only to the enigmatic Boymen. The Vindicators, the cars that we are passengers in, are so much more than vehicles. There is almost a mystical symbolism and identity to them, an extension of the driver birthed in metal and blood. It is hard to say more without revealing too much. Safe to say, you are left aching to know more about the back story, teasingly glimpsed through the fevered visions of our driver, and I would love to see D’Lacey expand upon this world.

In short, Roadkill is a great, quick read which gives you just enough to satisfy whilst whetting your appetite for more.