Infestation by William Meikle

Infestation by William Meikle
Publisher: Severed Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery/Thriller, Horror
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

It was supposed to be a simple mission. A suspected Russian spy boat is in trouble in Canadian waters. Investigate and report are the orders.

But when Captain John Banks and his squad arrive, it is to find an empty vessel, and a scene of bloody mayhem.

Soon they are in a fight for their lives, for there are things in the icy seas off Baffin Island, scuttling, hungry things with a taste for human flesh.

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And they are growing.

Captain John Banks and his small, elite group are tasks with what appears to be a simple mission. A Russian spy boat has called for help while illegally in Canadian waters and Captain Banks and his men are meant to investigate, gather any intelligence or weaponry they can and assist the Russians off on their way. But things immediately go downhill and the icy water hold untold monsters – and they are hungry for human flesh.

I’ve read a number of William Meikle’s stories and he is an excellent story teller. While he has some great folk and true horror stories out there, I feel what he really excels best at is the cheesy style of “big monster” tales. Think a 1950s cheesy horror movie or a bad B grade “Return of the Walking Mummy” type of story. You might need to totally suspend your disbelief for the plot – but the characters are always amazing, the mechanics of the plot and monsters are always excellent and the tale itself is usually short, sharp and a thrill to read. This story is no exception.

While totally a stand alone novel, it is here we are introduced to Captain Banks and his crew. After this story Captain Banks and some of his men (they revolve around enough to mean you don’t have to read any of these in order really) become The S-Squad which has it’s own series along the same lines of this one – ie “big scary hungry monster tries to eat everyone”. I’ve enjoyed enough of them I am now trying to collect them all and keep on top of the series, so clearly Mr. Meikle is doing a fantastic job.

Readers looking for a quick read and enjoy cheesy, old-fashioned monster flicks with a lot of atmosphere, a large monster with lots of teeth and a few scares should find this story right up their alley. This isn’t a plot-heavy story and the characters are well-drawn but not as deep as you’d find in a longer story. The camaraderie between them was something I personally really enjoyed reading and more importantly once the monsters start coming out and eating everything the characters are excellent and a lot more focused. While I wouldn’t call this horror in the strictest sense (this isn’t gory or overly descriptive of the killing) it’s a little harder/scarier than a traditional mystery/thriller and so I feel it needs a “light” horror label to it.

Refreshingly different and an excellent story – this book kept me up and made me glad I don’t live too close to an icy cold ocean/river! Recommended.

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