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The Bledbrooke Works by John F.Leonard #BookReview

Ever notice how some places don’t feel right? No rhyme or reason, they’re just unsettling, without you being able to pinpoint the cause. 
The vaguely suspicious demeanour of the locals. The pewtered quality of light. The old and indefinably alien smell that blows on the breeze …difficult to say for sure, but there’s definitely something. 
Bledbrooke is one of those places. It’s always been different to other towns. 

Quaint and quiet, a little backwater with a somehow dark charm all of its own. Once you get used to it, you wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. 
It’s not all sweetness and light though. There are problems. 
A new one has just appeared. The drains on Cinderlake Drive are bubbling unsavoury water onto the street. Even worse, the toilets are blocked and spitting nastiness at some affluent backsides. 
The town council reckon it’s a fatberg – one of those awful accumulations of wet wipes, grease and other unmentionables. 
There’s only one man to call… 

Donald Hobdike, world-weary and well past his prime, this sort of issue inevitably ends up on his chipped desk. When it comes to the sewers in Bledbrooke, he’s seen it all and more besides. Knows them better than he knows the back of his wrinkled hand. 
Or so he thinks. 
Maybe the labyrinthine warren beneath Bledbrooke still has some surprises in store for him… 

THE BLEDBROOKE WORKS is a tale of everyday unpleasantness and cosmic horror. A short novella of subterranean terror seen through the eyes of an ageing engineer and a young hoodlum. One a pillar of the local community, the other an outsider who wouldn’t know communal spirit if it ran up and bit him on the bottom. 

Part of the Scaeth Mythos. 
Reality is not what it seems. There is more than any of us know. Some of it’s miraculous, some of it’s hideous beyond imagining. 
There is, of course, structure. Boundaries and dividing lines. 
The walls are thinner than we realise.

The Bledbrooke Works book cover

Title: The Bledbrooke Works | Author: John F. Leonard | Publisher: Self published | Pub. Date: 4th of April, 2019 | Pages: 68 | ASIN: B07QDSDNN8 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received from the author for review consideration

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The Bledbrooke Works Review

I really liked The Bledbrooke Works. I’m a big fan of cosmic fear and Lovecraftian horror. And this is a good representation of it. It had a great, eerie small town vibe to it that was a bit reminiscent of IT but was also its own beastie. There were segments of the ‘monster’s’ thoughts and feelings. The story really brought the creature to life. It wasn’t just a thoughtless lump of ooze.

It’s a short novella but the pace moves very quickly and doesn’t get bogged down in unnecessary details to slow it down. The setting of the sewers was suitably gross. Sewers are inherently gross so it’s a good setting for a creature who’s been biding its time for centuries.

I also really liked the characters of Hobdike and Mikey. Hobdike I could picture so clearly as an older man, overalls with a trucker hat and probably a handkerchief sticking out of his back pocket. I’d bet my boots he also carries a thermos of coffee as well. Mikey I picture as a bit of a raggedy youth. Hair a little long with jeans and a t-shirt. Snarky attitude. The interactions between them were very well done. Their personalities were very clear and vibrant. Which makes the end…well, I won’t spoil anything for you.

I would highly recommend this novella. It definitely made me interested to read more works by this author and now I’m curious to know what the Scaeth Mythos is.

Published inHorror Book ReviewsStarred Reviews


  1. Olga Nunez Miret

    Thanks, Gracie. I’ve read a few of Leonard’s stories and love them. I’ll add this one to my list of future reads.

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