Book Review – THE EXETER INCIDENT by David Watkins

Review by Jolly Goat

This is a non-spoiler review, so frolic freely.

As a series of gruesome murders are discovered in Exeter. Detective Inspectors Danni Brent and John Carter begin to suspect the killer may not be human. Their investigation is only a few hours old when they also realise the murderer can’t be acting alone.
There’s more than one.
A lot more.
Paul Kingston is on the run and hiding in Exeter. Whilst trying to secure a new identity, he comes face to face with an impossible monster. Hunted, alone and afraid, who can he turn to? Who can he trust?
None of them know that Exeter is about to experience its darkest day.
None of them know time is running out.
The clock is already ticking….

This book is a fast-paced, action-packed barrel of bloody fun. Literally… there’s so much blood! I can’t believe how quickly I flew through this book – at almost 400 pages, I thought it would take me a few days but nope, one sitting.

We follow several different characters as Exeter comes under attack by… er… beings of the non-human variety. I was ready to settle in to a standard alien/monster invasion story but there wasn’t time to settle – I swear I have never felt such urgency reading a book. I’m not altogether sure how the author achieved it, but the pacing matches the sense of panic and the speed at which events unravel in the story, so you just fly through the chapters, eating it all up. It was so much fun. That said, the writing/plot didn’t feel rushed at all, particularly when it came to the (many, extremely fun) deaths. They were so brutal, so in keeping with the genre. A wry smile stretched my thin goaty lips when I read this, for example –

“The trail of blood had started just inside the doorway and whilst it looked like the girl had bled in the hallway, it seemed she had exploded in here.”

I think I would describe this book as Attack the Block meets Predator meets Dawn of the Dead (remake). It’s probably a weird way to describe it because the book features none of the things that are actually in the movies I mentioned, but it was just the feel of the thing reminded me of a culmination of all of the above.

Something that I think David Watkins is particularly skilled at is writing intriguing chapter openings, and closing them with lines that make you want to turn straight to the next one. The second chapter opens with this line –

“Kennedy watched the humans from the end of the road.”

I was so intrigued!

I really enjoyed the writing too. Some of my favourite lines were things like this gem –

“His eyes were wide, pupils black pits that threatened to swallow his face.”

Something I really appreciated about the characters was that they weren’t stupid, and actually believed their own eyes when they saw crazy things. A trope I tire of instantly in books and movies is when a completely sane and sober someone sees something and then tries to dismiss it as stress or tiredness. Honestly, if I see one more character witness a zombie attack or a werewolf or something and then return to their friends without warning them of what they just saw, instead mumbling something like, “it’s impossible. My mind must have just conjured that up out of thin air.” There’s no such nonsense in THE EXETER INCIDENT. People see things, tell other people they saw the things, accept they saw them, and then move forward accordingly.

In summary, this story is non-stop chaos, horror, action, some genuinely funny comedic moments, and relatable characters, all rolled into one nicely packaged book. I’d honestly recommend it to most horror fans, particularly those who like genre blends, because this has bits of everything. The tone of it is sort of like Aliens, but on speed.

If you’d like to get your own copy, you can find it here:


If you’d like to learn more about David Watkins, you can find him here:


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