Hands up those who loved the film Predator? Now keep those hands raised if you would love to have seen something like that film only played more as a straight horror - complete with things in the jungle that are far more nightmarish than a 7 foot guy with a scorpion-like face?
If your hand is still raised, then lower it to log into your favourite book retailer's site and hesitate not a millisecond longer. Because Tim Curran's latest, Grimweave, is most certainly for you.
Though the similarities to that John McTiernan classic film are many, Grimweave also throws a bit of James Cameron's Aliens at the reader given that the story follows Spiers, and his initial ill-advised foray into an uncharted part of the jungle, where bad things befall he and his ranking officer during the Vietnam War. He is then recruited into a squad of the meanest and nastiest recon marines and tasked with guiding them back from whence he came, so they can (presumably) blow the holy hell out of whatever is lurking in the jungle. Only things aren't quite what they seem. On multiple levels...
Curran yet again exploits the direct line he seems to have into the nightmares of the collective unconscious as he details a series of monstrous threats that at times left this reviewer grimacing in revulsion. His usual highly descriptive prose is also in play, but given Grimweave clocks in at about 145 pages (with the last 10% of the book dedicated to pushing some other author's novel), you can at least be assured he does not get too bogged down in the finer details of every tree, plant and native inhabitant of the jungle.
Perhaps the main area this one falls down in is with the barely-detailed support cast. Main protagonist Spiers is brought to life in a reasonable fashion, but the squad he travels with are painted in exceptionally broad strokes - so broad that I had trouble differentiating between most of them. Which meant that when they started dying horrible deaths, I was never affected by their losses.
As such, this one comes in as better than average but not as good as high-quality Curran outings like Blackout, Dead Sea or Grim Riders.
3.5 Living Strands of Web for Grimweave.