Hater by David Moody

Danny McCoyne is an urban underdog, depressed by work, exhausted by family life and leading a directionless existence. Everything changes when a global outbreak of unexplained violence threatens his life and that of his wife and three children.

What I found most frightening about Hater was not its matter-of-fact brutality but Moody’s implication that society is irretrievably flawed: We’ve lost touch with our fundamental nature. We don’t really know who we are any more, nor do we understand our purpose. Only a threat so primal it reduces us to an animal state can strip away the hype and bullshit we all drown in each day.

Clearly, Hater isn’t a Zombie tale but at its heart, the us/them friend/foe theme makes it a very close genre cousin. The book is a plea for clarity in a world of lies – lies we are all responsible for.

It’s a pacy, action-packed novel and it flashes along to a climax I’d describe as liberating. However, I love it more for its subtext and what it hints at about our modern world. Moody’s telling us to get in touch with our shadows – before it’s too late.

Four stars.

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