Miles Watson is best known for his Cage Life series, consisting of Cage Life and Knuckle Down, which centres around cage fighting and crime both drawn from Watson’s real life experiences, (before any reader gets the wrong idea, he was on the law enforcement side of matters). Cage Life itself is an award winning novel, having been awarded both the Best Indie Book Award and Zealot Script’s own inaugural Zealot Script Book of the Year Award.
The novella Nosferatu marks his departure from what could be considered his comfort zone and is the beginning of a foray into historical fiction, more specifically the Second World War. Released back in 2016, Nosferatu, is the precursor to Watson’s most recent release, Sinner’s Cross. Not in terms of a direct narrative, but in tone and historical context.
Although brief, it took me barely half an hour to read, Nosferatu is an emotive piece. Telling the story of an almost fatally injured Nazi officer suddenly faced with the reality that there are those in the war whose intentions are less noble than his, and methods much more questionable.
Watson is a master of the darker side of writing, and evokes imagery that will stay with me for some time but perhaps his finest achievement in Nosferatu is that despite telling a tale of war that could, perhaps, have taken place anywhere, in any time, and is not overly reliant on it’s setting in Nazi Germany, the mere fact of this setting doesn’t feel cheap or gimmicky.
The setting is not just in there for cheap shocks and the story delivers the narrative well, with a masterful mix of the reality of war and the psychological delusions of the protagonist.
Watson’s departure from his “home territory” explored in the Cage Life novels is a welcome one and his writing shines even more in this new context. Watson is good at this, very good and I now can’t wait for Sinner’s Cross.