Nick Cutter’s The Deep is an intense psychological horror novel encompassing the slow motion disintegration of society, the rise of an ancient power from the depths, and one man’s last, desperate hope for his family.
The world is being ravaged by a disease called the ‘Gets,’ an aggressive form of dementia that effects people of all ages. First they forget little things—memories, facts, their life—then they forget to eat, forget what food is, until finally their heart forgets to beat. From the Marianas Trench, salvation beckons—a mysterious substance termed ‘ambrosia’ that may prove a remedy to cure all ills. A team of scientists led by Clayton Nelson was sent down to the source, and only one has returned, driven mad. A rescue team has been assembled including Clayton’s brother Luke, a veterinarian. In the last message they received, Clayton was asking for him. Luke is puzzled. They haven’t spoken in years, but he goes anyway. His brother has always been difficult, but he’s family and there’s nothing for Luke on the surface. The world has gone to hell, but nothing can compare to the loss of his son, who disappeared years ago.
A small cast of characters in a contained space on the ocean floor, dealing with an ancient and terrible power. The tropes, references, and homages come fast and furious. There is very little in this novel that hasn’t been done before in one way or another, but where Cutter stands out is in the execution. He has a deft hand for characterization and scares. The people and their fears feel real and visceral. Luke and his brother Clayton have a complicated relationship with a dark secret at its heart, and the mystery of Luke’s son is carefully woven into a narrative that leads to a twisted, if not entirely unexpected, conclusion.
The Deep is a claustrophobic and scary execution of horror tropes. Cutter does not quite make the concepts and ideas feel fresh, but instead he manages the more difficult task of reminding you why they were scary in the first place. Confident and highly recommended for any horror connoisseur.
The Deep can be found here on Amazon.
Received a Copy From NetGalley For Review