book review, horror, short story

Short Story Review: 3 Story Edition

Trick or Treat by Jamie Stewart

After a child goes missing on Halloween, his former home gains the reputation of the neighborhood’s haunted house.

There’s a nice atmosphere to this horror tale of revenge and murder. I liked the different point of views of the two neighbors that provided different perspectives to the narrative.

There’s something about Halloween and trick or treating that immediately conjures up the sights and smells of a spooky autumn day where the light is caught in that twilight between day and night. Add into the mix a witch and a missing child and it’s a winner for me.

I award Trick or Treat

When Squirrels Attack by Allen Kuzara

Aaron Cantrell, squirrel exterminator, heads out to a call in the country. After a mutation has caused squirrels to become extremely aggressive to humans, driving them out of the country and into the city to escape, Aaron knows to come prepared.

Some implausibility aside, this is a great bite of spooky eco horror.

I liked Aaron Cantrell, and felt for him missing his German shepherd sidekick, Max. He seemed very unprepared for someone whose job was in pest control, but I guess he was witnessing something new.

The story is well written and well paced. I liked the inventive idea.

I award When Squirrels Attack

The Man of Flies by R A Jacobson

Private investigator, Phil Hammett, is working a case when he encounters something that beggars belief.

This short story has a dream like, nightmarish quality, which suits the titular man of flies but is unsatisfactory for the other parts of the story.

Allen and Phil are partners in a private detective office, but they seem to live in isolation – both from each other and everyone else. I got no sense of the place or people that formed the background world where this story was set.

I loved the man made out of flies. It’s always a cool idea. It’s described well in this story.

The ending is left vague, but as this is a prequel story for a book, I guess you have to read the novel to find out what happens next.

I award The Man of Flies

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