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'Close Reach' by Jonathan Moore

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Random House Hydra

Close Reach by Jonathan Moore

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I had read a couple of books from Random House’s Hydra imprint and was impressed with the quality of stories that I had found in the books. I started “Close Reach” by Jonathan Moore hoping to find more of the same.

Kelly Pratihari-Reid and her husband set sail into the Antarctic waters looking for adventure and an experience that would help them bond and repair their damaged relationship. They expected that the only danger they would encounter would be from the cold or a storm in these isolated waters. This all changed when they picked up a woman crying out in terror on their radio before the signal was jammed by a blaring of death metal music.

The couple quickly finds themselves being chased by a mysterious boat whose crew has new and a horrific mission that they cannot comprehend. When Kelly is captures and imprisoned with another woman and her husband is injured, she must find the inner strength to not only save herself but to try and rescue the woman and her husband. She begins to play a dangerous game with the crew as she struggles to gain the upper hand and will learn new and horrific truths about herself. Set in a setting that is harsh and unforgiving, Kelly soon learns that humans are Mother Nature’s cruelest and most brutal creation.

“Close Reach” is a horror/thriller that brought to mind the works of Dean Koontz with the exception that this book is much more brutal than most of Koontz’s works. Moore handles the story with a frantic pacing that pushes the reader and the characters to the brink of endurance. Even as Kelly is struggling for her life, the reader is captivated by the action and unable to put the book down for a second. This is the kind of horror that will make your heart race as you thrill at the story even while cringing at the harshness of some of the action. The story reads very fast and almost compels the reader to tear through the story in one sitting rather than step away from the story to pick it up later.

“Close Reach” is not a great work of literature and that it ok. It is a very entertaining read that will catch the reader in the moment (or in this case, a couple hours) as they fly through the story. Moore knows how to handle the action with just enough detail to add substance but to not slow down the pace of the story. This is not a great book but it is an entertaining one and that is what it sets out to be. I enjoyed this book for its action as well as how Moore does not shy away from giving the story a harsh edge that is seldom found in mainstream modern horror. While Moore may not be a household name among the likes of King and Koontz, “Close Reach” shows that he is more than capable of holding his own with those writers and readers would do well to take notice.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House Hydra for this advanced review copy. “Close Reach” is scheduled to be released by Hydra in May.