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Harvesting the nightmare fields - by Ross Jeffery

Ross Jeffery’s Harvesting the Nightmare Fields is, in my opinion, Ross’ strongest book to date. The king of grief horror does, of course, stick to his chosen subgenre, and the grief horror contained within that beautiful cover hits home page after page, as we discover layer after layer of the complexity of the main character, but this time Jeffery mixes the entire thing with body horror, torture, and the unending tension of an unhinged mind. All with the background hum of paranormal and cosmic horror never far from intruding.

I think this book works so well because of the beginning section – which establishes a sentence structure held rigidly throughout the book – a series of one-sentence paragraphs. Perhaps two, if Jeffery was feeling generous. It insists that the reader absorb every sentence. It is unrelenting – it feels like a poem gone out of control – the first chapter alone is punishing in its length– over twenty pages of sentence-long paragraphs, and you feel every flare of pain and agony the MC experiences, as you yourself fight to understand his predicament. And those sentences play with their form – patterns, and wordplay as much a part of the experience as the story itself. It feels like you have won a battle with yourself upon reaching chapter 2 – where the true story begins. But by then you have become grounded in that storytelling art. Trial by fire, the strongest move on. By then you'll feel his broken ribs, his disfigured legs, you'll know that up is up and down is down but there's something in those fields, and it's just waiting to get you.

Because much of the story takes place in the mind of the MC, it sets up our sympathies for him, trapped, disfigured and broken – much like in King’s Misery – at the mercy of an unsympathetic carer. I can understand that comparisons will be made, yet what sets this apart are the nightmares, created and manifested by the character's own forgotten past. That, we learn (as does the Character), piece by piece, as memories resurface and "pip" makes the journey into understanding.

It also makes the process much more painful.

Be prepared for the direction this story takes – Jeffery deftly confounds our need for a hero, painting more and more disturbing images onto the MC’s life. Though his captor is repugnant, Pip is also no saint. The tragedy of his situation is blunted by the circumstances of his incarceration, and the sickening realization from the reader, that his actions have led him to his own haunting.

"Harvesting" is intelligent horror, the paranormal aspects injected into the story balancing the body and grief horror which grind the reader down page for page. It’s an experience, to say the least, at the hands of a tormentor at the top of his game – Jeffery’s mixture building to the crescendo that could end no other way, the threads planted so early on in the story ensure you leave the book as ruined as the MC when he enters it.

Superb. An experience.

5 out of 5 ⭐’s


You can buy Harvesting the Nightmare fields, by clicking the appropriate Amazon link:

You can follow Ross on Twitter, HERE.

You can follow Ross on Instagram, HERE.

You can follow Ross on Facebook, HERE.

You can follow Ross on Bluesky, HERE.

You can follow Ross on Threads, HERE.

You can watch Ross on TikTok, HERE.

You can visit Ross' Website, HERE.

You can sign up for Ross' Substack newsletter, HERE.


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