Human Flesh by Nick Clausen – A Review
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Nick emailed me a few of his books when I was with Envie Magazine. This was back when it was The Writing Community Newletter and I was just a reviewer. I love Nick’s work so I was more than happy to read this one too! I still have a few others that I need to read and review. But I realized that I didn’t post this review on my blog as well.
So better late than never, here is my review on Human Flesh. I will include a link to buy it, spoiler alert you should buy this book, at the end of the post.
Published: July 9 2019
They never caught it
During the winter of 2017, a series of strange occurrences took place in a small town of northern Maine. A rational explanation for what happened has still not been presented. Now, for the first time, all the available written evidence is being released to the public from what is commonly know as the Freyston case.
Human Flesh was originally published in Danish to great reviews, and is now available in English. This dark winter horror story will also satisfy crime lovers, as the plot is told through written evidence in a fictitious murder case. For fans of Hannibal Lecter and Pet Sematary.
“Has he had any other episodes since then?” I asked.
“A bunch,” Martin said. “Most of the time he’s just gone for a couple of seconds or so. My dad has been keeping an eye on him ever since that New Year’s Eve.”
“Then why do you think it’s PTSD?”
“Because it always happens in the winter. I think the cold reminds him of your grandma and—” Martin broke off at this point and threw a look at me. “You know how she died, right?”
“He never told anyone around here about it,” Martin went on. “We only know the story through rumors. How did he say she died exactly?”
I was kind of surprised Martin would ask me that directly. I told him she died from cold in a cabin they had come by to seek shelter.
“From cold,” he repeated thoughtfully.
“Yes, from cold,” I said. “What else would she have died from?”
Martin bit his lip. “Maybe we shouldn’t talk anymore about it.”
“It’s kind of too late now,” I said.
“All right, listen. You might as well hear it from me. There are certain rumors going about. Some people think your grandpa killed your grandma.”
It honestly made me laugh. “That’s ridiculous. He loved her more than anything.” When Martin didn’t reply, I crossed my arms and asked him: “Why on earth would he have killed her?”
“To survive, of course. There was this whole case concerning the plane crash. Your grandpa was detained by the Canadian police for like three months before he was allowed to return home. He was the sole survivor, so no one could really confirm what he said had happened.”
“Why would that need to be confirmed? He had nothing to lie about!”
“The police apparently thought your grandma was murdered by someone. They never found her body, you know. I guess that’s kind of weird.”
“Yeah, well, it doesn’t mean he killed her,” I told him—I probably sounded pretty angry by now, because I was.
“Listen, I’m on your side,” he said. “I’m just telling you what people are saying. I’ve known your grandpa my whole life, and I don’t think for a second he could hurt anyone.
There were so many wonderful things about this book that I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to get to in this review, but I’m going to try. This isn’t the first book of his I have read so I was thoroughly looking forward to seeing what this one was about.
The way the story is told to the reader is so creative. It really enhances the intensity of what is going on with these characters and it gives us interesting insights into what is happening and why through various perspectives. The story focuses on two young kids who are sent to their grandfather’s house during winter break. It’s all told through texts, phone call transcripts, blog posts and just unique ways. It gives wonderful detail without it being too much.
It’s not a long book so it doesn’t wait before it ramps up the creepiness. Given the size of the book the pacing was really well done but also the way the information was given to us wasn’t always linear so it skipped around a little. You get to learn about so many different things that made what you read in a previous chapter all the more interesting.
I will say that there wasn’t much of a twist. It was pretty obvious what was going on throughout the book, it just revealed things in such a way that you weren’t totally sure you were right about what you originally thought. Not every book needs a big twist so I didn’t feel like this was lacking for not having one. The ending was satisfying and it was final which I think was very important in a story like this. I needed to know it was over, and I’m glad that I wasn’t left with any kind of uncertainty about that.
A wonderful read, I would highly recommend! This man knows how to write horror and I can’t wait to read what he’s done next!
Thank you to Nick for the copy of the book and thank you for reading this review. I hope you enjoyed it and maybe decided to buy it!