“It’s my experience that we all have a secret heart, even brutes.”
This quote from Nathan Ballingrud’s Wounds not only sums up this cleverly connected collection but is also, perhaps, a comment on humanity; a theme the author has elegantly expounded through some genuinely disturbing stories. Wounds: Six Stories from the Border of Hell is exactly as it says on the cover, and we end where we start, leaving the reader with an immensely satisfying feeling.
We readers of what’s broadly labelled horror fiction have seen it all. We know a creak on the stair means trouble, that a glint of metal in a darkened doorway isn’t going to end well. To keep us on our toes, to have us constantly guessing at what’s about to happen, whether we are even being told the truth, is a skill, and one John Langan has in spades. Sefira and Other Betrayals is a masterful collection of the weird and eerie; seven visions of personal hells, peppered with some perfectly crafted killer lines.
Parapsychology professor Philip Goodman doesn’t believe in the paranormal – do you? From the very beginning, Ghost Stories tells you the supernatural is a trick of the mind but then presents a three-part fable that pushes rationality to its limits.