Striking a perfect balance between disturbing and gripping, ‘The Afflicted’ follows the endeavours of Dr John Simmons in creating the miraculous wonder-drug Methuselah and the consequences of its release into the population. As perfectly ordinary people are turned into violent, mindless and bloodthirsty creatures, it’s a race against time to stop the spread and find a cure.
Amidst the drama of the outbreak are other story threads, grounding the overarching plot in a world more familiar to the reader – individual tales of love and loss bring a more human element to the story, and from the clear-cut morality of Dr Simmons to the greed and selfishness of Richard Jennings, it’s easy to feel an attachment to Strutt’s carefully constructed characters.
While the victims of the affliction are frightening in themselves with their sub-human, vampire-esque behaviour, the most chilling aspect of The Afflicted is the impression of total plausibility Strutt creates. Reading the carefully constructed story, it becomes almost impossible not to consider the implications of such an event in reality. Could it happen? Would we cope?
A truly gripping read, The Afflicted manages to be both entertaining and thought provoking while still providing a good dose of horror and gore.
The Afflicted is now available worldwide.
Review written by Chloe Pilsbury.