Cabal by Clive Barker

(7.5/10) Evocative and rich, providing the reader with a sense of the fantastic.

True to form, Clive Barker expertly blends gore with dark fantasy in Cabal. Cabal is a satisfying red for Clive Barker fans, it is an enchanting story written in his typical fashion. And for those less familiar with his style, there is the rich blend of Gothic and slasher technique.

Boone is mentally unstable, but he’s getting help from psychiatrist Decker. Too bad his shrink is a serial killer setting Boone up. This leads to Boone’s death at the hands of pursuing police. But of course Boone is not really dead as such, rather he has become a member of the Nightbreed. The secrets of the Nightbreed are relived through Boone’s girlfriend Lori, as she searches for him and for answers.

The book's greatest strength is its pace: gentle and subtle while at the same time tightly building suspense and intrigue. Momentum propels the plot forward; again Barker shows his economy of writing, providing quality over quantity.

Cabal explores themes common to Barker’s work; the idea of the sinister being as sublime and seductive as it is repellent (as seen through the pleasure is pain ideology of the Hellbound Heart's (Hellraiser) cenobites) and the darker urges of humanity. 

Cabal is evocative and rich within the dark tones of the narrative, providing the reader with a sense of the fantastic amongst the more terrifying aspects if the modern world.

Clive Barker was born in Liverpool in 1952. He studied English Literature and Philosophy at Liverpool University.Barker came to prominence in the mid-1980s with a series of short stories which established him as a leading young horror writer. He has since written many novels and other works, and his fiction has been adapted into motion pictures, notably the Hellraiser series.

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