Astrid Addams has concocted a great collection of tales here that certainly reside on the darker side. As with most short story collections some are better than others, but I generally had a pretty good time with these.
Things kick off with the brilliantly titled Jimmy’s Fucked Up. And he certainly has. This dude, who exists to bring torture and suffering to others, is about to get a big, bloody surprise
In He’s Behind You the darkness is coming for Gemma, but can she escape it?
The Tower is the tale of a home carer sent to an infamous tower block where a psycho sacrificed women to Satan before killing himself. Surely she isn’t visiting that flat? The description of the home here made my skin crawl.
Dead Men at Dead Man’s Cliff is yet another dose of darkness. When a dude’s boyfriend is killed by a cyclist, he goes to great – and rather psychotic – lengths to exact his revenge.
We are treated to a grandfather’s letter explaining what made him so murderous in Love and Other Chainsaws. Basically he was evacuated during the war to live with a seemingly loving family. But this family were hiding a great and macabre secret.
The Rubies is a dystopian nightmare that is really rather uncomfortable to read. And then the ending smashes its way in with shocks a-plenty. This was my favourite story here.
In Beware there are some creepy Halloween jack-o-laterns and scarecrows lurking in this spooky old house. More darkness is coming to consume
Things get romantic in Love and Other Dead Things. Our protagonist is planning the most mushy, yet grotesque surprise for her wife on their anniversary.
The one story I really didn’t feel here was In Memory of… I just didn’t like the narrator for a start. There were some great ideas and chilling imagery, but it seemed a little rushed to me. Now if this was fleshed out with a more engaging protagonist, I’d be there!!
Awww, The Blue Dress. This beautiful garment promises you the world and everything in it, surely nothing could go wrong, eh? I’ll be honest I didn’t understand some of the characters’ behaviour in this one, but it was certainly shocking and nasty.
Judge Dead brings this collection to a close. This was quite a weird tale where zombies get political, something I’d never thought of before.
So all in all, this is a decent book of short stories that would be a good introduction to Astrid Addams’ work. If macabre darkness is your thing, of course, and why wouldn’t it be?
Categories: book review