First published in July of 2014, British author Wayne Simmons’ ebook-only novella, ‘The Girl In The Basement’, formed the first book to be published through fellow author David Moody’s publishing arm ‘Infected Books’ that wasn’t one of his own titles.

The novella was released on Simmons’ 40th birthday.

DLS Synopsis:
After seeing goth group ITM playing in Manchester’s busy city center, Kayley Sands made her way to the nearby bus stop where she would catch a bus back to student flat in Levenshulme.  Around her a throng of black-clad youths, most of which had clearly been to the same gig, waited for the bus to arrive.  With the clinging smell of alcohol in the cold night air, it was perhaps not the most comfortable place to be by yourself.

Nevertheless, when the bus arrives, Kayley gets on and slumps in a seat; donning her headphones to escape the drunken joviality around her.  As the bus pulls off, her eyelids slowly close.

She wakes with a start.  It’s pitch black and deathly quiet.  She’s instantly aware that her surrounding are definitely not the bus.  She’s alone and cold.  Her mind desperately claws back through her memories, trying to remember the last thing that happened.

And then a door opens and a torch light plays over Kayley and the shadowy confines that make up her immediate surroundings.  As her captor makes his way down the steps and into the basement, Kayley pushes herself up against the cold stone wall.

“It’s okay.  You’re safe”.  His emotionless words a farce in the face of Kayley’s predicament.  She’s a captive.  Furthermore no one knows where she is.  No one even knows that she’s missing.

Over the following days, as she lies there alone and utterly helpless, tied down to the bed in the darkness of the basement, Kayley’s mind will reach back to a past that has remained hidden from her until now.  As the horrors of her imprisonment stretch on, Kayley is finally forced to face the traumas of her past.  And perhaps through the pain that has been hidden away inside of her, there is something she can use to help her survive the hell she’s now in…

DLS Review:
Wayne Simmons’ short novella is one that doesn’t hang about for very long before the horrors that it has in store for us start to kick in.  The character of Kayley Sands is established within a matter of pages; her life and her actions up until her abduction seemingly not all that different to the vast proportion of students’ these days.  And that’s possibly one of the scariest aspects about the story.  It’s gut-wrenching realism.  How it could happen to almost anyone at a similar point in their lives.  How we so often feel safe in our own little lifestyle bubbles, unaware that there are others out there who are watching and waiting.

From the relative comfort of an almost everyday situation, the reader is suddenly thrust into a disorientating darkness that screams of an as-of-yet unknown danger.  Simmons delivers this unnervingly sharp derailing of the situation with the gusto of a man who wants to leave a lasting impact upon the reader.  The prose shifts entirely.  Everything is suddenly horrifically different.  Absolutely nothing is certain.  And Simmons’ near faultless execution of this sudden shift in the storyline makes the impact of it that much more powerful.

From the moment Kayley realises that she’s a captive of some psychotic sicko, the aggressive pace of the story thunders along with an unbelievable nerve-stretching tension.  Within the space of a handful of pages the story has turned into something that feels like it could have crept out of the mind of Jack Ketchum.  It’s Buffalo Bill meets Kate Millett’s ‘The Basement’ (1979), with the horrors of our protagonist’s past now coming back to haunt her in the bitterly cold darkness of the basement.

In fact, in gradually peeling back the layers which have made Kayley Sands who she is to this point, author Wayne Simmons has put together a powerfully thought-provoking glimpse at the human psyche at a torn and desperately defensive state.  Through this, painfully strong bonds are formed between the reader and Kayley – far stronger than one might have deemed possible within such a short page count.

It’s a tale that should possibly carry a warning tag.  The story assaults your senses; gagging and binding the reader with a sheer tormenting grimness that seems utterly unrelenting.  In fact, there’s a harsh and unsympathetic coldness that encapsulates the entirety of the tale; permeating through Kayley’s memories and flashbacks so that there seems to be no escaping the poor girls relentless suffering.

Ultimately, Simmons has carved out a harsh and merciless tale that will provoke a veritable maelstrom of emotions from the reader.  And smashing you in the face like a deliberately swung sledgehammer throughout its length is the unforgettable and deeply unnerving fact that this is all so very possible…and could all be so very, very real.

Jaw-clenchingly brutal and bitterly unrelenting from start to finish.

The novella runs for a total of 61 pages.

© DLS Reviews


Make a free website with Yola