In a London suburb in 1938, with war looming on the horizon, attractive well-off housewife Alma Fielding is being plagued by a poltergeist. Glass and china are splintering in mid-flight before smashing to the floor, objects float down the stairs behind her, lumps of coal levitate from the grate… it is a house under siege – from itself.
We all know one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But the artwork for Tim Major’s Hope Island is arrestingly gorgeous and, I’m delighted to report, the story it contains is equally so.
The saying “short and sweet” couldn’t be more appropriate for novelist Kealan Patrick Burke’s new story. Distinguishing Features packs not one but several delightfully gruesome shocks into its 32 pages, at the same time delivering a fully-formed and well-thought-out narrative to get our teeth into.
I’m a huge fan of the short story. There’s something immensely satisfying about being able to settle with a book, knowing the story will be wrapped up within an hour or so. Of course, there is an art to it – the introduction, development and conclusion of a plot and ideas in a minuscule space – and I tip my hat to those who try, including Erik Hofstaffer in Isidora’s Pawn, a novelette spilling over with grand themes such as unrequited love and deceit.
Kev Harrison’s debut novella delivers an enchanting folkloric story with an eco-warning sting in its tail: be kind to nature, or destroy it at your peril.
I’m sitting here writing this review with the radio on low in the background. The news has just been on, and even though what’s happening is very real I still can’t shake off the feeling we will wake up and be told it was all a dream.
Father versus son, reality versus magic and a whole lot more… modern horror master Ramsey Campbell is back.
Bad People… you ain’t kidding!
Suspense and chills galore await in Binocular, a tightly controlled, claustrophobic double bill of menace.
Scandal, sex and secrets in a crumbling country pile await us in Megan Taylor’s latest dark novel, a coming-of-age tragedy packed with prose so vivid it leaps off the page.