OPEN TAP by Trevor Dalton
Originally published in 2007, now available again…
The Beast is the catalyst in many lives – and terminates many too. This is no monstrous creation of Frankenstein; we have no compassion for him as he embarks on a murderous rampage where the innocent and the guilty are equal prey in his terrifying eyes.
As with his earlier horror novel ‘The Possession Legacy’, Trevor Dalton has amassed a collection of characters and has neatly interwoven their lives. At no point is he not in control.
We meet the stammering schoolboy Benjamin, who is bullied most especially by Bagley. Benjamin is befriended by newcomer Tom. It seems that Tom has a troubled childhood and is prone to acts of violence, and his mother Tilly is beset by fear for her son’s future. Then there’s Charlie Worth who realises that his life with his wife Sandra is going nowhere, that he is a failure and his marriage is falling apart. Lucy is a battered wife who has mustered up the courage to flee from her hateful husband Ross; but Ross is full of guile and wants her back so he can teach her the lesson to end all lessons. Regional journalist Gwyn Jefferies seems to be the only one in the media who is putting together the facts of strange sightings of a beast – comparable to the Beast of Bodmin – with a series of horrific murders. He’s determined to follow the trail to get his exclusive and move on to the nationals.
Other characters are encountered, some of whom will succumb to the Beast’s blood-lust. You’re kept on tenterhooks, wondering who will survive and who will die, and thus keep turning the pages.