Posted on: September 12th, 2013 by Victoria Kurr


Title: Childlike

Author: John Pepper

Subject: Fiction Horror

Release Date: Available Now

Reviewer: Victoria Kurr


John Pepper’s Childlike opens just before the 1996 Christmas holiday in New York City. Along with snow and Christmas cheer, a more chilling atmosphere unfolds in the city that never sleeps. A darkness stalks the alleys and sidestreets- filling them with menace, mystery and murder. Pepper brings together a varied cast of individuals – a father plagued with a heavy burden, his lovely young daughter, an intrepid reporter and many more. As the East River fills with bodies, reporter Solomon Earl catches the edges of a career-making story. Sol’s determination eventually ropes in his best friend, young PR associate Andrew Morton, along with his beautiful girlfriend, Dyanna, in on his investigation. The plot moves swiftly and culminates in an unpredictable conclusion that will leave readers thirsting for a sequel.

The author’s vivid prose and eye for observational detail results in some truly beautiful sentences that belie the level of gore and violence within this horror novel. The unwieldy size of the cast of characters occasionally bogs down the book’s otherwise fast pacing. But despite its lack of polish, at its heart, this is a solidly entertaining novel. Fans of the horror genre who are looking for a return of a true monster will certainly be satisfied. But a warning to female readers- Pepper’s portrayal of hormones may cross the line into the offensive. Those who are yearn for something along the lines of John Ajvide Lindqvist’s breakout success, Let The Right One In will be pleased as well. And with its open-ended conclusion, a sequel certainly seems imminent.