Saturday, 14 June 2014

Book Review: Horror Showcase anthology

This anthology features four stories each by three authors. Overall I gave the anthology 3 stars based mainly on the excellent stories by Dave Jeffery who I enjoy reading. Here are my thoughts on each one:

Stuart Neild-The Smoking Assassin
The ramblings of a smoke demon who assassinates people.

This is a monologue of a demon talking to the next victim. He just rambles on about nothing and I found this boring. (1 star)

Ian Woodhead-Spicy Meat
A bunch of thuggish would-be rapists want a late night snack and fun but get more than they bargained for.

The language was vile throughout the book, f-bombs etc just for the sake of it, and the attempt at rape, obnoxious moronic characters, all of which ruined a halfway decent story. Got bored. (1 star)

Dave Jeffery-Wish you were here?
Four drunks steal a garden gnome which turns out to be the death of them.

A little gem of a story about the garden gnome version of Chuckie getting revenge for being stolen from his owner. Quirky horror tale with good writing and satisfying death scenes. (4 star)

Stuart Neild-Special Boy
A woman becomes obsessed with an exhibit in a freak show.

This was weird and left me cold. Love affair with a foetus in a jar? (1 star)

Ian Woodhead-Two Skins
Sex obsessed OAPs fight over a new man in their social circles.

This was an amusing story with a nice horror twist to it. (2.5 star)

Dave Jeffery-Daddy Dearest
A man has to deal with his abusive father becoming a zombie.

This has an amazing amount of emotional depth for a short story, dealing with issues of domestic violence, alcoholism and zombies. The author delivers a good story which is not your usual zombie tale. (3 star)

Stuart Neild-So you think you're a werewolf?
A woman claiming to be a werewolf agrees to change on camera at the full moon.

It was ok if a bit predictable but a werewolf isn't likely to do a stunt like this and put victims in front of herself. Never quite bought it. (2 star)

Ian Woodhead-Sewing Lesson
A strange girl uses the heads of dead animals to sew onto her dolls.

Creepy story which never seemed to really go anywhere. (2 star)

Dave Jeffery-The last rose of summer
Two serial killers roam the city and both have an eye on the same victim.

Delightful little thriller with a lovely twist. Liked this one. (3 star)

Stuart Neild-The return of Borley Rectory
A haunted house appears to lost men.

This was confusing, weird and never gives you a satisfying conclusion. I was left wondering what actually happened. (1 star)

Ian Woodhead-Beg the other man
A man steals money from the client he kills.

This was a better story with a decent plot. (2.5 star)

Dave Jeffery-Foresight
A psychic who gets visions of disasters sees his wife in trouble and tries to alter her fate.

This was another quirky story with paranormal elements and a great twist. (4 star)

Overall I was pretty disappointed with the other authors but Dave Jeffery really delivers in this book with four good stories. He does great twists and packs lots of character and interest into even the shortest story. Will look for more of his work again. Be nice if he published all these free stories into a paperback!
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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