Shelter for the Damned by Mike Thorn

A friend once described a cigarette as ‘five minutes you don’t have to worry about anything.’

Maybe you don’t remember, or are starting to forget in adulthood, how very much there was to worry about as a kid, but Shelter for the Damned will bring it all rushing back. A word of caution, though: this isn’t your dad’s horror nostalgia trip. Mark, Adam, and Scott find a place away from the constant questions and problems of adults where they can smoke cigarettes and have those five minutes … only, turns out there’s a horrible price for this respite. Finding out what will alter the reader.

One thing the book understands very well are how the most innocuous childhood memories can twist into a terrifying shape. Adults have forgotten – or are too consumed by their adult lives to think about – these horrors, except maybe, very, very, late at night. Thorn’s work invokes both childhood fears and those late-night moments when existential dread sinks its teeth into you as an adult and suddenly, you remember how helpless you still are.

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