“Alison” by Andrew Humphrey
This first novel from successful short-story writer Andrew Humphrey builds on his fascination with dark desires, creating a compelling mystery that holds the reader in its grip as the disparate threads of a mans life unravel amid revelations and recriminations.
Cover art is by David Gentry.
The novel is available in two formats of 176 pages, both of them currently HALF PRICE:
- Demy paperback, laminated cover, cream book wove interiors
- Demy casebound hardback, PPC, laminated, coloured endpapers, head and tail bands, ribbon bookmark, cream book wove interiors
The spider was huge. The size of a Buick, as Woody Allen once said, in Annie Hall I think it was. It scuttled around the perimeter of our porcelain bath and Alison shuddered.
“Kill it, Chris,” she said. She hid behind me, peeping over my shoulder occasionally, just to confirm how scared she was.
“Can’t. Seven years bad luck.”
“Don’t tease. Just squish it or something.”
The spider stopped moving.
“Actually, I’m not sure I fancy my chances.”
“I thought you were my hero.” Alison wriggled closer. “I’ll make it worth your while.”
“I just need something to cover it with.”
“Like what? A skip?”
“You’re such a wimp. Go into the living room and shut the door. If I’m not out by tomorrow morning call the police.”
“God, it’s moving again. It’s horrible.” She quivered behind me.
“It’s just a spider. Although it could do with borrowing your Ladyshave.”
Alison left me to it. I opened the bathroom window and then cupped the spider between my hands. I let it thrum against my palms for a few moments then eased it into the night air.
I pulled my shirt out of my trousers and mussed up my hair.
Back in the living room I said, “It put up a hell of a fight but I think I taught it a lesson.”
Alison laughed and fell into my arms. Her hair smelled of peaches. She wore a white cheesecloth blouse and pink jeans. Her feet were bare and she had painted her toenails burgundy. I remember these things. I have to. Two days later she was dead.
The author reads the first four chapters as part of our Transmissions From Beyond podcast.
Praise for Alison:
"Absolutely gorgeous, and stunningly good… I wholeheartedly recommend you buy a copy" Christopher Teague
"Absolutely fantastic, top quality" Mat Coward
"A captivating story that won't let you go until you've discovered all there is to know about characters you came quickly to care about. And by then it'll be too late. Very, very good indeed" Neil Williamson
"My book of the year so far… Breathtaking" Mark West
"A heady dose of violence and off the wall sex…an entertaining and insightful study of dark psychology" Peter Tennant
"Psychological, relationship horror, super clean and nicely complex…it really is an all-nighter" Rick Kleffel
"One of the best crime novels I have ever read…bleak, intense, moving, heartbreaking stuff. The prose is lean and terse without losing any depth; the characters are vivid, each one on the verge of breaking. These people are so real they could live around the corner – but you'll be glad that they don't. This is a very fine novel indeed from one of the brightest literary talents the UK has seen in a long time" Gary McMahon
Author: Andrew Humphrey
Andrew Humphrey's short fiction has been published in The Third Alternative and Black Static, Crimewave, Bare Bone and Midnight Street. He has published two collections with Elastic Press, Open the Box and Other Stories and the award-winning Other Voices. Alison is his first novel. Andrew has two sons and lives and works in Norwich.