2 Die 4
by Nigel Hinton (Author)
The very strong central concept of this short novel is a top-of-the-range, large-screen mobile phone with some extraordinary capabilities, which is, however, an instrument of evil channelling the dark side. Ryan, the novel’s young teenage protagonist, buys the phone at a car boot sale and soon finds himself drawn into its demonic web.
Hinton’s writing style is clear and simple but also capable of building up plenty of tension and atmosphere. Short chapters and a slightly enlarged font size also help make this a highly accessible text for more reluctant readers.
The novel also has a more issues-based, didactic subplot involving Ryan coming to terms with the presence of his new stepfather, Colin. Because characterisation is largely sacrificed in favour of plot tension, this aspect of the story is not quite as successful as the horror/suspense aspect. The deus ex machina ending of the story may also be an indication that the author had difficulty finding a satisfying resolution for these disparate elements.