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  • Writer's pictureBP Gregory

What Are We Reading?: Churn The Soil, by Steve Stred

Cover of Steve Stred's novel Churn the Soil shows two black crows back to back with a hideous face inbetween, while below a path leads through dark and ominous woods


4/5 Very Good Doggos

Give me the short version:

If you go down to the woods today you're sure of a big surprise

Do you love scary monsters and secrets in the trees? Insular communities thick with conspiracy ... no, wait do you love heroic dogs?

Churn the Soil kicks off with the local police being called to investigate a brutal murder at an isolated commune deep in the forest. A situation which rapidly devolves into a fight for survival.

Stred gives the broad suite of characters time to breathe so that you are well invested in who survives, but not so much as to risk turning a creature feature romp into a bummer. The gore comes brutal and fast, along with unexpected twists to the story which will keep your buttocks firmly on the edge of your seat right to the end.

Favourite bit:

"When she heard the brays and the cries and bellows of the creature arriving, followed by the panicked yells and discharge of the firearm, she had to force herself to remain in her chair. A second shot rang out, followed by a sound that forced her to cover her ears with her hands. It was a ripping sound, something akin to unzipping meat. She pressed her feet as hard as she could against the plywood floor, her candles flickering as she breathed heavily out with each push. Nancy had to stay put. The future of The Border depended on this."


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