Written by John Llewellyn Probert
Published by Horrific Tales Publishing
Dead Shift is a story about three friends trying to stop and escape the evil entity that has consumed almost every inch of the hospital where they work. As creatures from another realm attack them, they struggle to survive and stop the evil that surrounds them.
I will admit that this story kept me interested, but at first not so much. Before all of the craziness starts, there is a character named Arthur Lipscomb, who is old, homeless, and dying of cancer. He makes his way into a building that apparently has a history of people disappearing and dying horrible deaths from the 5th floor down and was built on a 2,000-year-old monolith to do a ritual of some kind. The ritual is from a book of some sort that is alive and made out of human skin that becomes part of him that he stole from a dying priest, but before he can finish his ritual, he passes out and is rushed to the hospital.
Now this is where the fun starts. Arthur is able to start back up the ritual in his hospital room, and by doing so he brings about the dead waking to creatures and a strange fungus consuming people and the hospital itself. Around this time we meet the other three characters of the book who try to make sense of what is happening to them and their hospital all the while trying to keep a sense of humor about the entire fiasco. I found this way of coping to be refreshing in the characters instead of the always serious, level-headed type of character you usually get in these types of stories. That gets repetitive and boring; this story was not that at all. It was fun, a bit frightening at times, and always kept you wanting to turn the next page to see what level of Hell they would come upon next.
The ending is decent enough, but I felt it left me hanging. Could there be a second book coming? Would we ever find out what would come next for our characters? Where did that skin book come from originally, and why? I don’t like a story to leave me with more questions than answers, and because of that I’m giving this book a 3 out of 5, but to be fair it was entertaining enough to push those questions aside for a bit and just enjoy the story as it unfolded.