book review, horror

Scavengers by Duncan Ralston

A man tells the story of how his neighbors became murderers.

This is a very skillfully written novella. It starts with hints at something awful having happened, and at first you read on to find out about the event. However, as you pick up every perfectly placed crumb of information, a world emerges that sucks you into its reality and makes you wonder what you would do if you found yourself in the same situation as the characters.

The horror in this novella is understated but nonetheless chilling. Without giving definitive answers, Ralston provides enough information to create a satisfying picture in your head. The almost underwhelming incidents crawl under your skin and make you believe, if only for a moment, that these monsters are real.

Perhaps the part I love best is the moral question at its core. Is it all right to kill monsters? Or perhaps the question is about the very nature of monsters in the first place. Which of the characters in this novella are the real monsters?

Bonus points for creepy references to pandas and for the atmosphere of peeling back the carpet of life to reveal all the things hidden underneath that once seen cannot be forgotten.

I award Scavengers

Click here to get Scavengers, and 6 other short stories and novellas, free when you sign up to his newsletter.

Thank you to the author for the free gift of this novella. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

5 thoughts on “Scavengers by Duncan Ralston”

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