I have to excuse myself here because one of the stories in this anthology is mine – I won’t be reviewing my own work. But I was very excited to read this. I love two types of horror: horror mixed with hefty doses of dark humour and then seriously dark, dark horror. This anthology screamed an offering of the latter from the get-go; the intro supported this.
Chinked – by Aaron Garrison – This story immediately brought to mind “A Clockwork Orange” with disturbing but vivid imagery containing a great deal of contrast and focus on the senses.
30 Minutes or Less - by Matthew Williamson – I think fans of the “Dexter” series would enjoy this story. I especially liked its rather unpredictable ending.
Abraham of Harlon – by Harley Pitts – Who exactly is the bad guy here? Eventually, you’ll figure it out. An interesting story within a story.
The Caged Doll – by Adam Millard – A tale having a touch of “Saw” flavour, but with a surprising twist.
Candy Apple Red – by Rebecca Snow – An eerily fun story. It taps into some potent childhood fears and you are almost rooting for the bad guy here.
Detour – by Bennie L. Newsome – Great writing! For a newcomer, Bennie displays a lot of talent. I kept envisioning one of those classic slasher films as I read.
A Twisted Garden – by Joe DiBuduo and Kate Robinson – Historical horror with a new spin on a complex artist. I was intrigued the way the writers tied the painting to the story.
All Things Being Equal – by Ian Brazee-Cannon – A super creepy story. Evil truly has a voice in this one.
Red Badge – by John Lemut – I’m a big fan of Stephen Crane, but I found some of the sentences ran a little long, something I’m guilty of at times, and I had to reread segments as a result. If you like mob and military references, you should enjoy this.
Feeding The Hunger – by Suzanne Robb – This one really had the gore/ooky factor, and my skin was crawling by the end of the story.
Dear Susan – by Holly Day – A stalker tale with erotic elements. I think it really captured that feeling of a man trapped by his obsession and out of control because of it.
Rat Man – by Nicholas Conley – All I can say is ewwww. This story was exceptionally disturbing.
Eighteen – by Joseph Schwartz – This fella was as hateful as they get, but I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the end of the story.
This was a wonderful compilation of “nasty” stories, with a surprising amount of variety despite the common theme. It gets a big thumbs up from me.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)