Book Review: The Plumbers by Terry M. West

Title: The Plumbers

Author: Terry M. West

Publisher: Pleasant Storm Entertainment

Publication Date: October 31, 2020

Genres: Horror

As my eyes lingered over the first pages of The Plumbers, I wondered whether I really wanted to read about a plague right now. I mean, it’s really hard not to see the COVID-19 parallels in Terry M. West’s latest offering. As those same eyes raced over the final pages, however, I realized this is precisely the kind of story I wanted to read.

I wanted to laugh at a virus. I wanted to scoff at society. I wanted to cheer on ordinary heroes. I wanted to face the horror and the dread and the sorrow and come out the other side.

I wanted . . . I daresay I needed . . . The Plumbers.

There’s a lot going on in this slender novella, and it all works. There’s horror in the fast-moving ravenous zombies, comedy in the friendship between Liam and Pierce, thrills aplenty in the fight against the zombies, satire in the breakdown of a wealthy community, and sorrow in the loss of friends and family.

The surrealism of the two men careening through mobs of zombies in their van, telling dirty jokes as they casually toss pipe bombs out the window, is utterly brilliant . . . just as the shocking horror of a woman who’s had enough, who chooses to face mortality on her terms, is devastatingly poignant. Yeah, it’s a cliché, but this is a book to make you laugh and cry, and that emotional catharsis is something we need, especially in how its shared with Liam.

The world’s always had teeth. All it did finally was knock down the cardboard fort we were hidden behind. It showed us how ridiculous, tiny, and vulnerable we really are.

I expected something lighter from Terry, something more consistently comedic, but the dark turn to soul-searching horror and the emotional weight of the ending is what makes The Plumbers such a solid read. Definitely recommended.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀

My sincere thanks to the author for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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