The Fourth Fog, by Chris Daniels is certainly a horror novel and has a
high body count to prove it, but in many respects it should be called an
Urban Horror. The Fourth Fog digs deep into the mind of a man named
Benito who lives in a huge metropolitan area. Its undercurrent is a
thread of urban panic—the feeling of being overwhelmed, but not allowing
anyone to see that you are.
Benito lives in a state of hopeless inquisitiveness. He has a lovely
wife, but mostly behaves like a man playing a game more than living a
life. Things change when rodent sounds in the wall lead to a hole over
their bed. When Ben takes matters into his own hands and poisons the
mysterious rodents himself, the flat develops a far worse problem.
These bloated giant flies are unexplained, possess a malicious instinct,
and before long become killers in a variety of twisted ways. Having
flies become the primary menace lends a unique angle to the novel and
these flies quickly become something to be loathed and feared. Yet
Benito and his wife have strangely been able to dodge the more fatal
encounters that others fall victim too.
The fly issue multiples as Ben's life also becomes more complex. Set
this against a city backdrop, where a recent terrorist attack has
everyone on edge, creates a rather tense and at times unnerving novel.
Daniels also does a good job explaining why the missing people have not
created a stir, at least not at first. As the body count builds, the
reader wonders if there is any way Ben and his wife can escape or could
they be the case of all this death?
The book is well polished, but some things fell a bit short. A few times
the flow of the narrative is lost. It could just be me, but the imagery
blurred and I could not quite understand was had occurred. Some other
things remained vague. Like the reader was expected to completely grasp
things while taking others at face value without getting a complete
Still the drawbacks are few.The Fourth Fogpaints a bleak urban
landscape. Like most of life, it has more questions than answers.
Daniels takes a few risks and tries to bring fourth an original horror
tale, which is something that is getting increasingly harder to do. He
also gets a few bonus points by using flies as a primary villain.