Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dead Shift by John Llewellyn Probert [3.5 stars]

From the Description


Nobody Likes Going to Hospital

They thought the old man was harmless. Just another tramp found collapsed in an abandoned housing estate. At Northcote Hospital they put him in a bed and let him keep the strange old book he insisted on clutching.

Nobody Likes Having to Stay In

Three friends working through the night at Northcote Hospital are about to experience the worst shift of their lives, trapped inside the building as creatures undreamed of in their worst nightmares begin to crawl from the walls in a bid to make the place their own.

And Nobody Wants to Die There

Soon everyone and everything in Northcote Hospital will be changed. Will anyone be able to stop the evil worming its way through the building? Or will the horror escape to infect the planet?

John Llewellyn Probert’s

Dead Shift

Where the worst thing in this world is nothing compared to what’s lurking just outside it

I received an ARC of this novella in exchange for an honest review from the fine folks at Horrific Tales Publishing. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this story.

Reading Dead Shift is like a trip to Hell's emergency room as imagined by Lovecraft. The story is a little slow at the beginning but once the ritual begins things escalate quickly. Parts of this novella quite literally made my skin crawl with disgust. The creatures on the second floor and things growing throughout the hospital were the stuff of nightmares for me. I loved the banter between Richard, Dev, and Sandra. The witty dialogue and some of the scenes were laugh out loud funny, making some of the darker scenes more horrifying by comparison. This fast paced novella is well written and filled with such vivid imagery that it almost feels like you're there. An utterly enjoyable 3.5 star read.

Buy the Book (Available March 19)

About the Author

John Llewellyn Probert won the 2013 British Fantasy Award for his novella The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine and 2015 saw the publication of its sequel, The Hammer of Dr Valentine.He is the author of over a hundred published short stories, six novellas and a novel, The House That Death Built (Atomic Fez). His first short story collection, The Faculty of Terror, won the 2006 Children of the Night award for best work of Gothic Fiction.

His latest stories can be found in Best British Horror Volumes 1 & 2 (Salt Publishing), Psychomania and Zombie Apocalypse! Endgame (both Constable Robinson). Endeavour Press has published Ward 19, Bloody Angels and The Pact - three crime books featuring his pathologist heroine Parva Corcoran.
He is currently trying to review every cult movie in existence at his House of Mortal Cinema ( and everything he is up to writing-wise can be found at

Future projects include a new short story collection, a lot more non-fiction writing, and a couple of novels.

He never sleeps.

Praise for John Llewellyn Probert
"Horror is lucky to have him"

Ramsey Campbell

"Horrific and charming in equal measure"

Ellen Datlow

"Gruesome, unsettling and often unnervingly funny"

Publisher's Weekly

"A writer who knows his horror and isn't afraid to use it"
Black Static