First off I want to thank my generous friend Kimberly for sharing this book with me!
All of the stories in this collection are infected with a darkness that creeps under your skin. All of them. This review would become a book in itself if I were to break down every story as I usually do with collections so I’m not going to do it this time. The other reason is the fact that many of the stories contain very similar themes and I’m lazy. Some of the stories are only two pages long but they all pack a punch. I absolutely cannot wait to read more of this writers work. Every single story, yep, even the two-pagers, is darkly atmospheric and has a beautiful earthy grit that I just loved.
I took copious notes but I’m going to ignore them for the most part and just spotlight a few stories so you can get the gist of the content. You really should read this yourself and not have it all spoilered for you anyway.
Everything That’s Underneath starts things off with a man named Benjamin who is creating something for his wife. Something solid. Something good. Something that allows something to creep in. That something knows her name . . .
This is a hell of a creepy story. I was sitting in a mechanic’s shop waiting for the inevitable bad news but was able to tune out all my worries once I started this strange little tale. Reading these stories feels like you've stepping into another world.
This quote from one of my favorite childhood shows, Tales from the Darkside, sums it up perfectly:
“...there is, unseen by most, an underworld, a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit...a dark side.”
All of the stories reveal a dark side, an underbelly of fear, decay, dirt, blood. The writing is lush, morbid, darkly dreamy and haunting and the scenes are often raw and messy.
A flyer promises “Pussy for miles” and it is coming to a town near two perverts. For $1000 bucks these two fools head off into the woods to get what’s coming to them. I had an inkling what was coming to Paul and I couldn’t wait for it to happen!
From Like Feather, Like Bone
“I try to ignore her, but she is crunching its bones, and the sound is like the ground cracking open.”
Wow, so much creepy despair in only 3 pages!
Daughters of Hecate
This is a tale of abuse, terrible mothers and the damage they inflict all wrapped in a bleak horrific tale. Mother/daughter relationships are a huge theme in this collection.
Towards the end I will admit that I was starting to fatigue from this collection because many of themes are so similar and dealing with loss and desperation and messed up relationships. I would suggest doling these out one story at a time in between other reads as opposed to gobbling them all up at once as I tried to do.
Highly recommend for dark fiction fans!