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.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for ghost story enthusiasts. We are spoiled! Both Halloween and Christmas offer the same spooky potential, not only for new tales to tingle the spine but the reemergence of the old. Rather apt of course, as a major supernatural trope is the past crashing in on the present.
I liken short story anthologies to a supermarket trip – you go in for what you want, see things you don’t like and often come away with something extra you didn’t know you liked in the first place. An odd analogy perhaps, but you get my drift I’m sure. In other words, in Full Throttle by Joe Hill, there were some stories I liked, some I didn’t like at all and a couple of nice surprises.
Too early for Christmas, I hear you say?
Well, maybe. But there’s no escaping it – supermarkets’ seasonal aisles have sprung up before we’ve even thought of storing our summer clothes, and social media’s awash with panic-inducing adverts for Christmas Day dinner (“If you don’t book now, you’ll be eating beans on toast!”). We have two options – embrace it or ignore it, but reading material, I argue, is a different matter.
Small-town weirdness meets supernatural thriller in screenwriter Michael Rutger’s The Possession, a sequel to The Anomaly, which was released in 2018. Hands up – I have not read The Anomaly, so came to this cold. Despite a few small mentions about the climax of the last book, which of course meant nothing to me, I did not suffer. Rutger doesn’t labour the point, and just gets on with the business of a new adventure.
“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.