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I like a bit of Shaun Hutson, a British horror writer with more of an edge than Koontz and Masterton. With a mixture of preconceived bias and wary trepidation, I set about getting stuck into Breeding Ground. My bias is because I generally like Hutson's work and I was wary because I've already read Slugs, to which Breeding Ground is the follow up instalment. I didn't massively enjoy Slugs, but what did I think about Breeding Ground? I'll explain the plot below then give my opinions.
Where Slugs was set in a small commuter town, Breeding Ground sees the same type of slugs cause chaos in London. A Doctor Alan Finch is the first person to suspect that slugs are responsible for some recent bizarre boils on people after he takes some samples from the open boils on the victim of a sudden, violent death. When analysing the pus from these boils, he discovers the slugs. The police become involved as the death toll rises and the slugs more bolder, which leads to large parts of London being evacuated. Now that the slugs are contained, a final showdown occurs between the police, the Army and the slugs in the sewers of London. Are all the slugs destroyed, or do some escape the containment which would conveniently leave the door open for another "slug" series book? Read it and find out for yourself!
Right then, here's what I thought. I had high hopes that it would be different enough to "slugs" to allow me to enjoy it more than I enjoyed Slugs, but it was almost identical in plot, pace and quality. The only discernable difference was that this book is set in London and has a different set of characters. I can read far fetched books and still get the feeling that what I'm reading is believable - if it's been well written by a skilful author. All I felt whilst reading Breeding Ground was a sense that it was so absurd it should have been categorised as comedy.
Scattered along the main story line were little vignettes where the slugs would slide out of a toilet and find their next victim. These victims were often unaware of the slugs' presence until they were bitten - this was quite clumsily done and I had a mental image of these scenes as clips from bad 80's horror films.
I can't bring myself to give this more than 2 stars, it is below average and doesn't deserve any more. I would only recommend this to people with an obsessive collector streak who have to own every book written by a particular author. No more slugs please Mr Hutson.