Monday 1 December 2014

Haunted - edited by Alex Davis and Ryan Merrifield (a review)

Winter is approaching, the nights are drawing in and a readers taste is drawn to a good old fashioned ghost story.

This collection from Boo Books is just the right thing - five ghost stories from five different authors and not a bad story among them. They are; The Snap End Morris Men by Paul Melhuish Cloven by Amanda Bigler Turning the Cup by M.R. Cosby Little Spring by Michael Bracken Promises You Can Keep by Kevlin Henney

If I had to pick a favourite I would go with The Snap End Morris Men,partly because I liked the setting and partly because it is kind of relevant to now, but that is not to take anything away from the other tales. Each one is spooky, some may wrong foot you (Cloven certainly did me!)

So, pull a chair up to the fire, get yourself comfy and prepare to be spooked. An excellent quality collection - congratulations to all involved

The Venus Complex by Barbie Wilde (a review)

Step into the mind of art historian and serial killer Professor Michael Friday. It's an unsettling place to be, downright disturbing at times, but I'll let you in on a little's fun at times too and you'll find yourself not wanting to leave.

This story is told in a series of journal entries, some detailing his crimes and the preparation involved, some just rants at the world in general (and you'll probably find yourself nodding in agreement here!) It all starts with a confession of infidelity from his wife and him driving purposefully into a tree - killing her (as planned) and badly injuring himself. He is clever enough to make it seem like an accident and this leaves him financially comfortable enough to have the time and money to indulge in his new hobby - serial murder.

Seen through the eyes of Friday he is transforming the victims from ordinary women to Goddesses, arranging the bodies in the pose of various art works based on the Goddess Venus. I will say, the murders involve a goodly amount of quite graphic sex but it is that well written that it doesn't feel gratuitous. It is all part of Michael Friday's mindset, an often disturbed mindset, granted, but one that will have you turning page after page.

So, a disturbing horror novel but an engaging read - 5 stars