Content warnings for: Body horror/gore, animal cruelty/death, murder, torture, death, child death, fatphobia, blood, violence, self harm
The Troop is my first Nick Cutter, and it did not disappoint. It is well known that Nick Cutter writes body horror well, so I have been looking forward to finally picking this one up.
The Troop follows a scout group heading to the Canadian wilderness with scoutmaster Tim for their annual three-day camping trip. Everything seems to be progressing as usual until a man shows up. No one is sure where he came from, but one thing is for sure, he is hungry… and sick. It soon becomes apparent that the illness isn’t confined to the stranger. In fact, they shouldn’t have let him in under any circumstance!
Mixed with interviews from after the outcome of the boy’s story, we slowly discover what the scientists were trying to create – a simple pill to help with weight loss. However, what they actually created was an insatiable tapeworm that will devour everything they can from their host.
Nick Cutter delves into how a group of boys would react and try to survive when faced with the horror of an illness they don’t fully understand. To make it through, they will need to depend on each other and work as a team, but how can that be possible when one of the boys is a known bully and one is revealed to be a potential psychopath?
Whilst light on the spooks, The Troop created an unsettling atmosphere that left me uncomfortable in places, mixed with some genuine gore in all its glorious description.
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