In Russell Mardell’s BLEEKER HILL, the United Kingdom has dissolved into a world of chaos and disorder. This is the world that Sullivan, the last remaining convict languishing in jail, is thrust into when he is forced to join a small group of Party members on the run from roving gangs that have overrun the country. Bleeker Hill has become the place to be, a safe haven the Party members are determined to claim for themselves. But the horror they’re trying to evade quickly becomes the lesser of the evils as they discover that Bleeker Hill holds terror of its own, and that terror is the stuff of nightmares.
Mardell jumps right into the world he’s created with virtually no set-up, forcing the reader to keep up or be left behind in confusion. This might not be problematic for readers who have read Stone Bleeding where the chaotic and dystopian UK was introduced, but for a first-time reader with BLEEKER HILL as their introduction, the lack of explanation makes the book hard to follow at times. Likewise, keeping track of the characters takes some time as there is very little to distinguish one from another. Despite this, BLEEKER HILL is a well-written novel that presents a grim and disturbing view of what a country could dissolve into should its peoples rise up against its government. The narrative has a detached feel, giving the reader a sense that he or she is merely an observer to the story rather than part of it which makes the happenings feel all the more horrific. Mardell’s language has a cinematic quality to it that would make BLEEKER HILL well-suited for adaptation to the big screen.
The ugliness and terror of a world gone horribly awry is sobering and fans of dystopian and horror novels will love it.
Reviewed for IndieReader by K.J. Pierce