>>> Nick Cutter’s The Deep

Tapping into our fears of memory loss and claustrophobia

THE DEEP (Nick Cutter) Rating: NNNN

Nick Cutter’s The Deep ($19.99, Gallery) plunges you into horror even more squirm-inducing than his gruesome 2014 novel, The Troop.

The set-up is simple. A strange plague called the ‘Gets has decimated humanity, but a cure may be found at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, where three scientists in a sealed research lab are studying a substance called ambrosia. Could it save humankind? Or will it expose people to even worse terrors?

Luke is about to find out. He’s descending eight miles to talk to his estranged brother, the genius scientist Clayton, whose message asking for him has been the last communication from the lab.

Just as The Troop drew on societal fears about body image, The Deep taps into our fears of memory loss – the ‘Gets sounds suspiciously like a horrible offshoot of Alzheimer’s – and claustrophobia. 

I could quibble over some details. Why aren’t more countries involved in the research? But Cutter digs deep into character and motivation, and uses found documents – research notes and audio files – to add convincing context and make the horror even more visceral.

Read our interview with Cutter – or Craig Davidson – here.

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