Bloody Kids by Andrew Holmes
Sasquatch Books, 2017
Available: Kindle edition
Bloody Kids by Andrew Holmes is a gory thriller about a rural English town that is rotten to its core. A rich farmer controls the town and most of its inhabitants, including the police, much as lords of the manor did in medieval England. He entertains and controls many of the village men with annual hunting bacchanals and a clandestine brothel at the Lizard Farm. A sadistic widow runs the Farm and is the madam for comely ‘cleaning women’. She physically and psychologically abuses her orphaned or abandoned ‘foster children’, who work the Farm.
Things begin to go awry when the widow becomes demented, and loses control over the once-cowed children. As they take control of the Farm, their base instincts come to the fore. Think of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. The children begin to abuse and torture the prostitutes.
The rich farmer’s son-in-law takes his young son on a winter picnic in a field near the Farm, and the boy disappears. An intensive search leads nowhere, and a local veteran Detective Inspector is ordered to investigate.
It’s a tangled web. The DI has had a midlife crisis and an affair with a hostess-prostitute at the bacchanals, who is also the nanny/cleaning woman for the children. Although she ends the affair, she still communicates with the DI by cell phone, until the boy disappears.
A boy’s body is found in a gravel pit. It seems that no one is innocent. Mutilations (yes, even with a chainsaw), torture, and murder, crescendo to a gory, blazing denouement on a bone-chilling, snowy night. As in a morality play, most of the malefactors get their just deserts.
The story is fast-paced, and keeps the reader engaged. Setting his story in England, Holmes treats the reader to many English colloquialisms, such as “twee” (quaint), “gutted” (upset) and “gob” (spit, mouth). Holmes has written many other action/adventure/fantasy/horror novels under the pseudonyms Oliver Bowden and A. E. Moorat.
Recommended for teens and adults
Contains: violence, gore and sex
Reviewed by Robert D. Yee