Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Barbie Wilde and being given the chance to review her novel 'The Venus Complex'. I really enjoyed TVC so when I heard there was going to be a collection of her short horror fiction published I jumped at the chance to read it.
What we have here is a mixed bag of scares, each one a delectable treat. I read in a picky fashion, a story every few days with a break between - as with the best of feasts you don't want to gorge yourself, you take bites and savour them.
Barbie Wilde is well known in Horror circles for her role as 'female cenobite' in the second Hellraiser film and that character, Sister Cilice, is the starting point for these stories (the first of three stories that feature her). Sister Cilice is what amounts to an origin story telling of how she went from being a nun to becoming one of Hell's finest. Her story is told, as I said, over three tales, all are good but this is the strongest. The rest of the collection features such joys as Zulu Zombies, Sexual Vampires, Gods, Demons, Body Horror and the locked door in the corner of the basement (in Botophobia, one of my favourites). Through it all Barbie Wilde keeps you looking over your shoulder, listening for the creak of a floorboard or the tinkle of little bells that may just bring horrors beyond your wildest imaginings.
These tales are not for the faint hearted, the horror and violence is graphic as is the erotic element to the stories (but all relevant, not just for titillation). Each story is also accompanied by some lovely (though gruesome) art which shows well on my Kindle Fire, with its' colour screen.
This collection is heartily recommended so prepare to step into the bizarre, horrific, twisted imagination of one of the nicest ladies you could ever hope to meet