Full disclosure, I was provided with a copy of this book by the author, however, have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.
What lies beneath
The House Beneath the Bridge is the newest full-length novel by horror author Iain Rob Wright and is a bit of a departure from his other books. While still very much in the horror genre, Wright has opted to craft a story that is not currently related to any of his previous offerings or set in any of his established worlds. The story primarily follows Sophie and Tom, an estranged couple on their way to Sophie’s childhood home in the village of Cottontree. After a freak accident on the entrance bridge sends them and the other accident victims plunging down the banks to the riverbed below, Sophie and Tom must put aside their differences and past hurts as they attempt to escape back to the roadway. That won’t be easy, however, as they are stalked by a terrifying entity known as “The Blind Monk”. The longer they remain in the realm under the bridge, the more they learn about a centuries-old betrayal and an evil more terrifying than they have ever encountered.
The premise of this story seems simple; a curse placed on a village a century ago has ensnared unsuspecting victims in the current time, but there is nothing simple with this story. Encompassing elements of witchcraft, idol worship, faith and love, The House Beneath the Bridge represents a textbook struggle between good and evil that is worthy of a big screen production. The problem is, as it usually always is with themes such as these, is that it gets really difficult to tell which side is which. The Blind Monk, as he is known, is an imposing and utterly ghastly creature while Emily Tanner comes off as the picture of innocence. Parts of this book for me were very difficult to read, but rather than turn me off the story, it only served to further depict the hell in which the characters have landed. As a Christian, I usually shy away from anything blatantly blasphemous or demonic, but Wright tends to broach these subjects in a way that is less shock for shock’s sake and more to illustrate the storyline. Even with that being said, there were a few times that I literally covered my eyes while reading certain parts of this book as the imagery was very unsettling. The conclusion of the story for me was unexpected, but not unwelcome and had me fighting back a tear. It’s been a few weeks since I finished the book and I’m still finding myself contemplating the final chapter. If you are not squeamish about your horror and are looking for a read that will keep you guessing and possibly give you nightmares, you would love The House Beneath the Bridge.