The Kill Crew by Joseph D’Lacey
Barricaded into a city block called The Station, two hundred souls have survived the apocalypse. So far. Was it a bomb? A biological attack? Phase one of an invasion? No one knows. The Long Silence has begun.
After dark, thousands of the city’s inhabitants – neither living nor dead – prowl the streets snatching survivors. The Station is under constant threat. Each day a lottery decides the seven members of The Kill Crew – a night shift of civilian soldiers. Their mission is simple: Extermination.
Sheri Foley, a nobody in the days before the Long Silence, discovers she has the heart of a survivalist. She becomes one of the toughest members of The Kill Crew. But there are enemies inside the Station too. The evils of the old world persist and Sheri Foley must fight them all.
If you’re a regular visitor to the site you’ll know that I am a big fan of apocalyptic fiction. I enjoy reading it because I am slightly obsessed about survivor’s stories. I also use this as an excuse to try out authors whose work I have never been exposed to before. I reckon if you can tackle the end of the world as a theme then you can tackle just about anything. I bought The Kill Crew on a whim, I have never read any of Joseph D’Lacey’s other novels but I was browsing Amazon one day and it came up as a recommendation.
Sheri is an interesting protagonist. Prior to the events in The Killl Crew, she was just a normal person, living her life, doing her job and trying to get by. She has been forced by events to become a survivor, to adapt or die. Though she has developed a tough as nails exterior, as the story progresses, there is genuine insight into her fragile mental state. This is the story of a woman who is repeatedly pushed to her limits by situations she finds herself forced into.
I’ve always imagined that the end of the world would never be a happy place and the writing here offers the reader a glimpse of that. D’Lacey very effectively captures a sense of impending doom and bleakness that makes for a compelling read. I’ll be honest, part of me was expecting a by the numbers tale of zombies but The Kill Crew is much more than that. The ambiguity about the cause of the outbreak, they grim determination of the survivors, the despair that permeates their existence all adds extra layers of depth.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the story’s final act. The narrative veers off in an unexpected direction and ends on a poignant, bittersweet note that contains what may be just a glimmer of hope.
Less than eighty pages long The Kill Crew is easy to read in a single sitting and definitely falls into the category of small but perfectly formed.
Now that I am hooked on his writing the only question that remains is which of his other novels should I read next?
The Kill Crew is available from Amazon now.