Zombie, post-apocalyptic and dystopian books are like shoes - you can never have enough.
I won’t re-summarise the story of The Evening Hour as the synopsis says it all. This is an often bleak, sometimes depressing story with some shocking insights into the dramatics and politics of a small town, ravaged by poverty, drugs and the mining industry.
I found it easy to sympathise, in some ways, with Cole and the way he cared for the elderly and isolated residents of the nursing home where he works and the areas surrounding the town, despite the fact that he was buying their prescription medication and selling it on to local drug addicts at a higher price than he paid.
The writing is beautifully bleak and the story holds little hope for the majority of characters, some of whom have tried to escape the town only to find themselves drawn back into the lives they were so desperate to escape and the emotion of the story and the characters, struggling to keep or find their places in the world, leak through onto every page.
What was missing for me was a little more information on the mining company and the actual disaster itself – it felt like it was skimmed over a little with not enough detail or follow up on the characters whose lives had been devastated, and what happened to them afterwards.
I can’t say this was an enjoyable read, because it’s not that kind of book. But it is an emotional, dramatic, haunting and incredibly well-written debut.