In One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning, David Moody returns to his Hater trilogy set in a world where people turn into vengeful, violent murders whose only sustenance is snuffing out all existence. Although this is the fourth book in the series, it is a fresh start that takes the reader back to the beginning, making this a perfect jumping on point for readers that are new to the series. A little bit post-apocalyptic story with flashes of Garth Ennis’ Crossed, although Hater predates Ennis’ work and it isn’t anywhere near as violent or deplorable as the comic book mini-series, however, One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning, and the Hater series as a whole, still manages to be a dark and unrelenting story in its own right. Essentially a hard-boiled fight for survival – Moody quickly sets a break-neck pacing that never lets up, much like the vile Haters that relentlessly attack the characters in this story.
More than a dozen people are trapped on Skek, a relatively barren island off the coast of the UK that is home to Hazleton Adventure Experiences, an extreme sports and outdoor adventure setting for corporate team building retreats. What was supposed to be an exercise in cooperation and relationship building has now turned to tragedy as the co-workers on retreat witness a deadly accident that leads to the death of one of their team. Victims keep appearing and rumors begin to swirl about something much bigger and more devastating happening throughout the UK, not just on this tiny island. Tension ramps, infighting pops up, and death closes in.
One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning isn’t your typical post-apocalyptic narrative. Much like a zombie story, Moody’s book is about survival and the humanity that destroys us, but this time around it isn’t power or territorial fighting that threatens survival, it’s the dysfunction of the workplace. Moody builds a tight, realistic world with cliques, history, and all of the minutia that you would expect to find in an office environment. The conversations and characters build a believable world as Moody finds a way to represent each type of personality you would encounter while at work. At times I found myself lost in the dialogue, completely forgetting about the threat lurking outside that eventually breaks its way in.
David Moody’s Hater series has proven itself worthy of the great post-apocalyptic horror stories and One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning is no slouch of a sequel/fresh start. Fear stems from isolation and rumor, only to be reinforced by quick and brutal violence. This is gut-wrenchingly realistic survival horror.