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Dead Shift

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Nobody Likes Going to Hospital They thought the old man was harmless. Just another tramp found collapsed in an abandoned housing estate. At Northcote Hospital they put him in a bed and let him keep the strange old book he insisted on clutching. Nobody Likes Having to Stay In Three friends working through the night at Northcote Hospital are about to experience the worst shi ...more
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published March 19th 2016 by Horrific Tales Publishing
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  85 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In his new novella "Dead Shift" by John Llewellyn Probert who is a writer in the field of weird and macabre fiction and who also does a bit of film reviewing (check out this link “House of Mortal Cinema”) presents to the world a Lovecraftian venture.

The story begins with as grubby, damaged, and demented homeless guy seeks to conduct magic rites in a rundown part of town. He has a book of ancient power and it just so happens that the interdimensional break-throug
Frank Errington
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review copy

There's something off about Arthur Lipscomb who finds himself on the fifth floor of Appleton Court, at the very center of the Northcote housing project. It's a building that's been abandoned and scheduled for demolition, but an old book, written in an archaic language, has drawn Arthur to this very location. The book demands he perform a ritual, one that require requires his blood. Before he can complete his mission a security guard shows up and because of his condition, Arthur is rus
Ginger Nuts
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hospitals are scary enough, what with super bugs, hiding in every nook and cranny, sick people letting their nasty germs run rampant to mate with the super bugs hiding in the nooks and crannies to create an even stronger version of a superbug, to the nasty Matron, ever ready with a cold thermometer, for your own personal nook and cranny. It's no wonder that these disinfectant smelling buildings of death fill most wise people with dread.

Which is probably why horror maestro John LLewellyn Probert
The Grim Reader
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
fun read.

Lets not beat around the bush. There is a hell of a lot of Lovecraftian fiction out there. But when it is done well, the results are truly wonderful. As you can probably guess, the scene for this novella is set inside a hospital. The story begins with an old man summoning an inter-dimensional entity through a sacred book! The staff members of the hospital must find a way to reverse the spell that has been cast and send the creatures back to where they came from.

I'd never read anything b
Angela Crawford
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this novella in exchange for an honest review from the fine folks at Horrific Tales Publishing. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this story.

Reading Dead Shift is like a trip to Hell's emergency room as imagined by Lovecraft. The story is a little slow at the beginning but once the ritual begins things escalate quickly. Parts of this novella quite literally made my skin crawl with disgust. The creatures on the second floor and things growing throughout the hospita
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books with a cover where the artwork gives you a good clue if you'd enjoy reading. The digital rendering is good, the hardback is even better. The writhing mass of tentacles hint at the beats inside, the vagueness of their identity is mysterious, the three (almost) silhouettes at the base give a nod to the dry comedy that works well in British horror. It feels good too. Someone cared about this book. It's not been churned out mindlessly, this has been nurtured.

After such a s
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My original Dead Shift audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

‘Lovecraftian’ is the word I’d use to describe this book.

I can also tick that off the list of 'Most Pretentious Things I've Ever Said'.

A homeless man is corrupted by a mysterious and evil book that he finds in suspicious circumstances, eventually convincing him to perform a ritual which allows a demon dimension to cross into ours.  Of course, nobody knows that when he arrives at the hospital and undergoes
Montzalee Wittmann
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dead Shift by John Llewellyn Probert is a horribly good book. LOL It has the horror, the dry humor and satire, and action to keep it a fun and exciting read. There is never a dull moment. Although it is a horror book, and meant to be taken as such, it has a lot of low key humor in it, which I enjoyed. Three friends take on stopping the end of the world. I was a night shift nurse for twenty years and that is hell enough but I never had a patient trying to open a portal to hell before, in the hosp ...more
I have to say that I'm surprised with how much I ended up loving this and I think it was a combination of the authors imagination, enjoyable characters and narrator that made the book a 5 star read.

The plot of this was extremely fast paced and utterly freaky, but in a good way! ;) We start with seeing a homeless man going into an abandoned building with a book. This book has drawn him to this particular place in the hopes this man will unleash hell on earth. He has nothing to lose as he is at d
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
John Llewellyn Probert is an award winning author and (equally fascinating) a full time Consultant Urologist working at my local hospital.

Fans of Lovecraft, especially those who are fans of Probert’s work will really enjoy this. It was an absolute pleasure to review a book that delighted me from start to finish, Probert is revealed a master at the peak of his powers.

It took me two hours to read, so I would say it’s a little bigger than a novella. Bear this in mind if you’re thinking a quick read
Mark Woods
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Richard and his colleagues thought it was just going to be another regular, boring shift at the hospital when they got up this morning.
They were wrong.
When a homeless man is brought in with self-inflicted injuries, frantically clasping a strange book he refuses to let go of, the hospital staff thinks he is probably just harmless.
But Arthur Lipscomb is not himself.
The book he's holding is the source of great power, a power that has taken hold of Arthur Lipscomb and wants him to finish what he's s
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
NOTE: I received a free copy of this book to read in exchange for giving a fair, honest review. Said review contains mild spoilers.

I didn’t have high expectations for this book. Much as I enjoy Lovecraft and the many works inspired by his style, I feel like Lovecraftian stories are overdone, much like zombie fiction. Indeed the book does start off like a typical Lovecraftian tale and I thought it was shaping up to be predictable. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Despite the generic and slow-paced beginni
Clive Barker
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First of all, I got a free advanced copy of Dead Shift from the publisher in return for an honest review.

I'm sure we've all been in a hospital at one time or another and the vast majority of us don't enjoy the experience. After reading Dead Shift, I'm not sure I will look at other patients in hospitals, the same way ever again!

As you may (or may not) have guessed from the cover, this story does contain a certain Lovecraftian twist but rather than it being overdone or, even worse, a parody, the a
Scarlett R Algee
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First off: I received an ARC of this book from Horrific Tales Publishing, in exchange for an honest review.

I've spent a lot of time in hospitals, and even fully staffed and lighted ones have their creepy sides: basements, creaky elevators, empty hallways at 3 AM. After reading "Dead Shift," I may never see a hospital in quite the same light.

Arthur Lipscomb is a sick man: too sick to be alive, really, but he's come into possession of an arcane book, and is frantically trying to complete the bloo
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oh-the-horror
Well, this was a fun little read. Nice vivid imagery and a great cover. Really enjoyed this.
The beginning was great, I loved the humorous undertones and the fast-forward plot. I sympathized with the characters and enjoyed their banter. However, towards the end I felt lost, just like the main characters running around the hospital. The idea of having different horrific creatures on each level of the building was great, but it seemed like a listing of striking scenarios rather than a coherent plot. I missed background detail on the mysterious book, the different layers and the world they ...more
Debbi Smith
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I recieved an ARC of this book from Horrific Tales in return for a honest review.

an old man with a mission,an overworked young doctor and nurse, and an ME with an attitude are the people you will meet and learn to love in a short novel with a touch of Lovecraft. The author sets the atmosphere in the first chapter, and the fun is on from there .
Our heroes battle things from the dimension beyond while carrying on a sometimes comedic conversations that will make you laugh while at the same time
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
A rollicking good read. I could give you a synopsis - Lovecraft and Doctor Who - and tell you how good-humoured and funny it is is but, at 150 pages and two-quid, just buy it and read it. Now.

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book but that in no way swayed my assessment.
Mitch Larkins
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this. A Lovecraftian horror story in the middle of the nightshift at a hospital. That's a brilliant and scary premise. The cast is fun and interesting, and work well together.
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Very fun monster romp!
Stan James
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a fast-moving and witty romp that starts with a cancer-riddled old man completing the proverbial deal with the devil shortly after being brought into Northcote Hospital. He summons Terrible Things, gets his just reward (not so good), then leaves the hospital staff to deal with the cosmic horrors he's invited to our dimension.

Complete with a literal shout out to Lovecraft, Dead Shift is full of gruesomely gory scenes and characters both smart and sarcastic. They take the whole "world tran
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Definitely lives up to the claim: "a lovecraftian novel." The narrator had an accent that was just a smidge difficult to understand at first, but halfway through the chapter 1 I was used to it. Oh and the book itself? I gasped aloud in disgust multiple times throughout the novel, and I couldn't listen to it while walking my dog at night or while eating. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. A part of me loves it, but there's another part of me, the part that loves a specific type of ending, ...more
Imogen Reeves
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read any of John Llewellyn Probert's works before but it definitely wouldn't be the last. I loved that most of the floors had different monsters for Richard, Dev & Sandra to face trying to defeat the monster that Arthur unleased in Northcote Hospital but I did not expect the book to end the way it did.
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Fun bitesized B-movie horror caper set in an English hospital. Reminded me of the movie the Void - tentacles and fungus and zombies, oh my!
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, horror
Interesting book, not quite what I expected, but fun to listen to in the car.
A. Hunt
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This tale was so spooky and Lovecraftian- any Horror Lover will fly through this! I was lucky enough to receive The Dead Shift, by John Llewellyn Probert, through I'd like to have this on my bookshelf, but I won the ebook. I'll have to check into this one in it's physical form.

The story is about things from the lower bowels of Hell wanting to press into our dimension. How do they do it? By taunting us simple mortals on the nearest plane of existence.
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
**Full disclosure: I received this book in exchange for an honest review**

What starts out as a typical night at the Northcote Hospital soon turns deadly as something is trying to break through into our universe and they are at it's epicenter.

The overall atmosphere and feel of the book was more creepy and unsettling than frightening especially once the action got started and the books pace became more frantic. While I feel the fast pace of the story telling helped keep the story moving without
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
First I should state I was given a copy of this ebook through Librarything.
This story begins with Arthur-a homeless man riddled with cancer. He has come to possess an ancient book written in some archaic language. Its teachings convince him that if he performs the detailed ritual inside that he will receive great power.
While performing the ritual, he is stopped by a security guard and is taken to Northcote hospital. He knows he must finish the ritual so decides to try to complete it, there in
Stewart Horn
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
An old tramp stumbles across a book that compels him and instructs him how to open a trans-dimensional gateway. It goes wrong and he ends up in hospital, where he tries again and gets it right. What follows is proper old-school horror, with tentacled creatures, zombies, insectile things with teeth, and whatever else JPL felt like throwing at us. He doles out the carnage non-stop, and with such glee that it's hard not to share the enthusiasm and enjoy the ride.

He also does it with wit and style,
Kirsten Tattersall
I received this book from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. If you like Lovecraftian stories filled with eldritch horrors then this is the book for you. Dead Shift is a story that takes place inside a hospital where an old man has unleashed eldritch horrors on the unsuspecting patients and doctors. Three friends attempt to overcome the nightmarish creatures that have emerged. I'd highly recommend this fairly short read to anyone who enjoys Lovecraft's works.
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