Crawl - Edward Lorn I've recently read [a:Edward Lorn|5751572|Edward Lorn|]'s [b:Life After Dane|20340751|Life After Dane|Edward Lorn||25131681] and [b:What the Dark Brings|16092971|What the Dark Brings|Edward Lorn||21898799]. While both were excellent in their own right, I have to say that [b:CRAWL|20611936|CRAWL|Edward Lorn||39890678] undeniably proves that Lorn's prowess as both a writer and, perhaps more importantly, a storyteller, is growing by leaps and bounds.

[b:CRAWL|20611936|CRAWL|Edward Lorn||39890678] literally has it all: impeccable characterization, grippingly tense suspense, gruesome horror and a superbly memorable villian. All this wrapped in a perfectly paced and ideal-length package, tied up with a bow of gorgeous, almost-too-good-for-this genre literary flourish. This is exactly the type of short story/novelette I adore, and the length I love.

I'm not going to summarize the plot here, because the synopsis is all you need to know. I'm rating this effort a solid 4.5, rounding up to 5 on Goodreads. The only thing that kept this from being a perfect score for me was the ending, which in my opinion left too many unanswered questions and dispatched too nonchalantly with the villian, who was easily the most interesting character in the story. Additional minor gripes are that whoever/whatever Silas was remained too vague, and the intended final horror of being "played with" seemed diminished due to the extreme agony the character was already dealing with. Perhaps more insight into how Juliet's plight could have possibly gotten any worse would have helped to send that intended final chill down my spine. As written, I found myself a little disappointed that the Reverend didn't finish his dirty work with the woman, thus ending the story with him getting into his Merc and driving away. This would have left open the promise of him potentially returning to haunt others in future tales, building on the mythos begun here. He definitely seemed like a villian around which a writer could construct a franchise....nudge, nudge, wink, wink...

Possibly the best thing I've read so far this year. Get it now! Highest recommendation.