Trapped review

Trapped - Jack Kilborn

Though commencing as a fairly straight forward riff on the cliched theme of "pack of people in a remote location being picked off one by one by some form of unseen assailant", Kilborn quickly ratchets up the crazy (and inventiveness) in introducing threat after threat that the beleaguered band of protagonists must contend with to survive.

Think Wrong Turn mixed with The Island of Dr Moreau and you'll be somewhere near the mark of what Kilborn has dreamed up from the depths of his (interesting disturbed) subconscious. So be warned, there is torture, cannibalism, and murder aplenty. This is not the kind of book you pick up for a feel good weekend read.

But it is the type of book you go to for a tightly structured, well-written horror novel. Kilborn wastes very few words in the 300 plus pages on offer in Trapped and he knows exactly how to coax his readers along. One of his greatest strengths as a writer is how to tease a relevant plot point or important character beat from their history, allude to it a few times, and then reveal it when it will have maximum impact. This works infinitely better than the tendency that lesser writers have to info-dump everything in the opening pages of their books and hope readers remember it all when it comes time for an aspect of that history to pay off.

Overall, I didn't like this one quite as much as Afraid though, perhaps because the characters were not as compelling for me. But I have no hesitation in recommending this to fans of the first novel in this (so far) loosely connected series, and I'm looking forward to getting to the other four books that comprise it in due time.

3.5 to 4 Neatly Placed Skewers for Trapped.