Tuesday 2 August 2011

Doc Mortis by Barry Hutchison

Pages - 285
Published by HarperCollins in 2011
Book kindly sent by publisher.

I stood in the doorway, swaying on unsteady legs, staring down at the spot where my mum should have been. 
The air around me was raw with the smell of disinfectant. It rose from every surface, think and overpowering, as if trying to mask something too dirty to ever truly clean away. 

Goodreads Summary
 Kyle wakes up in hospital -- which is strange, because he doesn't remember being ill. And that's not all. He's also deliriously flitting in and out of the Darkest Corners, and in the shadow version of the hospital the surfaces aren't clean, and the sharp instruments aren't used for healing. It's Kyle's most terrifying experience yet, and it's about to get much, much worse. The doctor will see him now! The fourth installment of this darkly comic horror series.

Firstly I am quite flabbergasted that this series has not come to my attention before now. I am a bit of a closet horror fan, so I was extremely excited to be given the opportunity to read this. I thought it might just be OK, but I loved it. Every gruesome, gory, dark, evil word of it!

This book is part of a series, but I read it as a standalone. I like to see whether books can stand out on their own even though they are part of a series and this one definitely stood the test. I loved the idea behind the series, where your childhood imaginary friends are sent to the Darkest Corners when you forget about them and how they come back to haunt you a lot darker than they were. Such a refreshing and original storyline.  

From the first chapter, you find you don't have time to catch your breath, as Kyle, just recovering from his last horrific encounter, is thrown head first, straight back into the next dangerous situation. Within a few pages, Kyle finds himself in the hospital of his worst nightmares. A hospital that would kill you rather than cure you. This is an evil place where loving and kind imaginary friends from your childhood are mutilated and turned into nastier images of their former selves. The imaginary friends go through some rather horrific and painful transformations at the hands of Doc Mortis, who is really rather gruesome and seemed to ooze evil out of every pore, especially as he takes such great pleasure in mutilating his helpless victims.

As the story progresses, you find that each chapter leaves you on a cliffhanger, keeping you so hooked you have to carry on reading the next chapter. I could not put this book down and came very close to holding my breath too long as I willed Kyle to safety, but even that was not to be as the ending left with a huge cliffhanger.

Kyle is just amazing as he doesn't seem to let all the things that happen to him, actually effect his motivation to rid the world of the evil Doc Mortis. At one point he confronts a character from his past and the turn around in events was quite surprising.

I loved the little boy, I.C. in the book. I found him adorable and funny. I was intrigued by his story and how he came to be in the Darkest Corners. 

As you can tell, I really really enjoyed this one and I hope to get my hands on the rest of the series. This is definitely a book I will keep for my permanent collection. 


  1. I've heard lots of great things about Mr Hutchison but not yet managed to read any of the books. Though having read your review, Viv, it looks like I'm going to have to add this one to my stack of books to read!

  2. Lol, this one sounds so fun :D Ok not for me now when I was in that MG age I would have loved it

  3. p.s. notice how I think horror reads are fun? lol

  4. this one really does sound awesome!! I think I might have to get myself a copy!

  5. This does sound like a very enjoyable book and series. Terrific review, Vivienne! :)

  6. Loved your review, this one's a keeper hey, I'm adding it to my wishlist then!

  7. I find the cover for this hilarious. Great review x

  8. What a great review, another to add to the wish list :) x

  9. Being a total squeamish scardey cat this probably wouldn't be for me but I can see it going down a storm with the 'fiends' in the school library.
    Thank you for the brilliant review off to add it to the library wish-list :D


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