Issue 49

Rated 4.88/5 based on 8 reviews
ISSUE 49 : Tobias is a lonely man. He collects vintage comics and finds it difficult to connect with women after many humiliations. Until he meets Trish, the love of his life. But all is not as it seems. A darkly comic short tale of love, loneliness and an obsession with Billy Bunter. More
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About J.D. Hughes

I'm a writer living in the Peak District of Derbyshire, England. In a past life I was a commercial scriptwriter and film-maker. I'm still fond of film, but love writing.

I hope that readers will download my short ebooks and get a taste of how I write, and if it's to your liking let me know. If it isn't then you can also tell me - all feedback is good feedback. Subscribe to my blog and get advance notification of new short stories or novels. I will also be posting stuff that I find interesting or quirky.

Any comments on my blog appreciated at as are any reviews of my stories.

***** LATEST: My new novel, AND SOON THE SONG, is out now at
Free chapter here:

The Hall came into sight; not a light showed. It stood black and massive against the sky, blacker than the night, a mouth of darkness waiting to suck in the innocent.

Charlie Chelford, hotshot New York photojournalist, is tasked with an unwelcome assignment to photograph billionaire businessman, Sir Marcus Tilling, in England. She has no inkling of the ancient terrors that are rushing to meet her and will change her life, forever.

Fresh from London’s Wormwood Scrubs prison, penniless ex paratrooper Tom Buchanan struggles against the odds to keep on the straight and narrow. He finds a job as a security guard. But there is no security for Tom as he uncovers the mystery of his lost childhood and faces the ultimate test against a supernatural entity that seems to have limitless power.

In an East Harlem cell, gang member and killer Angel Diaz feels the desperate need to escape. He needs a miracle, but then he does have divine help.

Ex-fashion model Elyssia Jordan, locked in an Ashbourne mental asylum, finds an unconventional way to get out… and get home.

And, eyes full of the moon, a huge, black dog dreams of the song, dreams of death.

Deep in the wilds of Derbyshire, England, mediaeval manor house Hearthstone Hall draws them to its cold stones - the boy, the girl, the dark man and the others. They will have no choice, for they will all hear the song and the hunger will be assuaged.

Lost to the gaze of God, Hearthstone waits.

Waits for the guests.

Waits for the children.


NORTHMAN, my supernatural, mystery thriller is out now on Amazon.

Free chapters: and
Amazon link:

It's quite a fat book. With lots of pages. Think Dan Brown meets Stephen King in a Celtic village with several fly-by-wire Tornado aircraft and a dead Viking berserker, coupled with a timeless romance and unspeakable evil...then forget the bit about Dan Brown and Stephen King and buy the book, which I hope you will find well worth it.
Follow me on Twitter @JDHughes4
Also on Goodreads and LinkedIn.

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Review by: Darcia Helle on Dec. 06, 2012 :
It's not often that a plot twist takes me by complete surprise. The twist in this story caused my jaw to drop. Issue 49 is funny and creepy, well written, and totally entertaining.
(review of free book)

Review by: Brandon Luffman on Nov. 21, 2012 :
Wow, I did NOT see that ending coming! This was a very enjoyable story. There were a few places that were a bit hard for me to follow. I think this wasn't due to a real deficiency in the writing, but more a result of differences in speech patterns between Brits and Americans.

Overall, quite a good read, and very much worth the time! In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I must be a bit vague here, but there were a few elements of the ending that I don't necessarily feel were needed. However, they didn't detract from the story in a major way. I think they primarily served to push the twist ending into the realms of the truly bizarre.

Good stuff!
(review of free book)

Review by: TheBigBookworm on April 24, 2012 :
Excellent stuff! Yes, it does sneak up on you as another reviewer has said and when it does it hits you with a gentle sledgehammer. Truly brilliant writing.
(review of free book)

Review by: Earlene Brittingham on April 06, 2012 :
I thought it was a great story! There was just something so matter of fact about the narrative, that the shock sneaked up on me! The "voice" I was hearing up til then was complacent and slightly pleasant. I went back, re-read the last 2 pages, and substituted another "voice" for effect; didn't work to make me as uncomfortable as that very sane, cheerful narration! Tobias was a hoot, but Trisha was awesome.
(review of free book)

Review by: Danny Culpepper on March 25, 2012 :
I enjoyed this very much. It was wicked and sick and horrific. It was also funny in a restrained-British way. I got a little confused at the end, but then I think I was meant to be confused. I enjoyed the character build-up of Tobias.
(review of free book)

Review by: RW Bausch on Jan. 02, 2012 : (no rating)
Weird story! I've no idea about the significance of Billy Bunter either, but he's probably like my childhood comic book heroes. It's a bit horrific at the end, but is very well written and worth reading. A cut above some of the short stories I've hsd on Smashwords.
(review of free book)

Review by: Jez on Dec. 31, 2011 :
Never heard of Billy Bunter before, but issue 49 is a good read. You have to feel sorry for Tobias but not a lot! He reminds me of my boss :) Good stuff.
(review of free book)

Review by: Mark Gandolfi on Dec. 30, 2011 :
This is a great short with restrained writing, always a plus for me. Horror is always best served in small doses and coupled with pathos, makes for powerful storytelling.
JD Hughes does that very well.
(review of free book)

Review by: Lisa Tobin on Dec. 29, 2011 :
What to say about Issue 49? I could heap superlatives on it, say how much it reminded me of H.P. Lovecraft - one of my favorite authors - or even compare it to Stephen King, but it is one of those quirky, horrifying but very funny stories that stays in the mind long after the Kindle or Kobo has been put down. It is also sad and leaves the reader with mixed feelings about the hero. Like this writer's other short stories I have read it leaves the reader wanting more. I will be watching out for other titles. Recommended.
(review of free book)

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