THE BANK by Bentley Little

“We know who you are! Can your current bank say that? We pride ourselves on providing unparalled service to all of our customers. We’re looking forward to banking with YOU!”

In the small town of Montgomery, Arizona, Kyle Decker’s book shop is barely breaking even. When a bank opens in the empty storefront next door, he hopes the new establishment will bring in more foot traffic.

Trouble is, nobody has ever heard of The First People’s Bank, and the local branch has appeared mysteriously overnight. Their incentives for new customers seem reasonable… at first. But is it a coincidence when Kyle’s wife has her identity stolen, and his son receives emails that seem to know his private thoughts? Or when the manager of a competing financial institution dies a gruesome death?

Soon, if people in Montgomery, Arizona, want to buy a new car or home, or if they need a small business loan, they have no choice but to work with The First People’s Bank. As The Bank makes increasingly bizarre demands on its customers, it becomes clear the town may be in too deep… and the penalty for an early withdrawal is too terrifying to imagine.

With his latest original novel, Bentley Little’s dark, razor-sharp satire takes on the worst practices of our banking industry, and you’ll never look at your loan officer the same way again.

The IndieMuse Review

A new Bentley Little book is always something to get excited about. His unique style and peerless mix of the mundane and the bizarre have served him well over an impressive 30 years in the horror industry, with 27 novels and 3 short story collections to his name to date. Little has been on something of a hot streak in recent years with his last two books, The Consultant and The Handyman being two of his most critically acclaimed works since his mass-market heyday in the 1990s, so I was excited to try his latest.

Kyle Decker owns a failing bookshop in the little town of Montgomery, Arizona. In fact, a lot of businesses in town are struggling financially. When there’s talk of a new bank opening in town, Kyle is cautiously optimistic that this may be a turning point.

When the bank springs up overnight, and begin making strange demands of their customers, the town starts to worry about what they have let into their once peaceful community. Then, when the bank begins targeting Kyles family, and mysterious deaths and disappearances begin to go unexplained, the citizens of Montgomery begin to suspect that they may have unwittingly allowed a force of evil to take over their town, and it may already be too late.

Anyone who has read Bentley Little before knows exactly what to expect here. His own brand of horror-based satire is often copied and never matched, and The Bank is another solid example of what he does so well.

The subject matter is especially relevant in 2020, with themes of financial struggles, racism, and systematic imbalance. The Bank tackles a lot of themes and manages a big cast of characters without ever overstepping into overly preachy, or overstaying its welcome. At 375 pages, this is not a short book, but I blew through it in a day. It is as tense and unpredictable as you expect from the author and, once you’ve started, it’s a hard book to put down.

Although it is a strong novel by most standards, as a Bentley Little book, it is not one of his best. The Bank is something of a victim of Little’s own success and talents, in that a good book can be a disappointment when measured against such an impressive back catalogue. The Bank hits all the right notes but lacks something unique or standout to mark it out from the crowd of his other horror novels.

Fans of Bentley Little won’t leave disappointed. The Bank is another winning mix of the full-on supernatural horror with a social message. Newcomers, however, may wish to sample one of his other books beforehand (I would highly recommend The Association, or The Mailman) to get a better appreciation for what Little is capable of.

RICHARD MARTIN

Richard started reading horror books at a young age, starting with R L Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ and ‘Point Horror’ series. He traumatised himself at the age of twelve when he read Stephen King’s ‘IT’, and never looked back. He is currently based in the UK, where he lives with his partner, and an inappropriate amount of books.

2 reviews for THE BANK by Bentley Little

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  1. Lucia Walling  

    Fabulous read. Do not miss this one, it is one of the authors best.

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  2. Devin Zeolla  

    Take this one to the nice quiet place in your house and read it with the lights out at night. I enjoyed it so much I ordered another of the authors books.

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