“Simple reviews from a simple reader…”
Zakk reviews “Suspended in Dusk” edited by Simon Dewar. 232 pages published by Books of the Dead.
Overall score: 5/5
“Past my shoulder, the grimy window looked out onto the street and little fragments of the world beyond it seemed caught in the mirror the way a puddle nets broken pieces of the sky.”
From the Back Cover:
A time between times.
A whore hides something monstrous and finds something special.
A homeless man discovers the razor blade inside the apple.
Unlikely love is found in the strangest of places.
Secrets and dreams are kept… forever.
Or was it all just a trick of the light?
“No one paid much attention to the stranger when he moved to town. What a costly mistake that was.”
“Suspended In Dusk” is a prime example of how anthologies should be handled. Strong stories with a lineup that plays well together and keeps things moving along, like a fine mixtape for the one you love. “SiD” collects 19 pretty stellar pieces of dark fiction, most of which from authors I hadn’t yet made acquaintance with, with no two stories alike. Kudos to Mr. Dewar for gathering quite an offering of diverse, quality tales, and for introducing me to some names that I’ll have to keep track of. I don’t recall the last time I’ve read a horror anthology that flowed so well without overstaying it’s welcome or getting lost in its own grandeur.
This is a “jazz club, beautiful date and two fingers of whisky” kind of read, you know what I mean. Classy, not gimmicky. Those looking for an excess of quick hits and gross-outs may leave a bit unimpressed. But for readers looking for lingering spooks and cerebral haunts, intimate nightmares and fog shrouded evils then you’ve found the right collection.
When I crack open the cover of an anthology featuring a story from Ramsey Campbell (one of my favorite shepherd of darkness) and his tale isn’t my favorite in the collection, not even in the top five…. I don’t know if that means anything to you, but in my book that’s high praise.
While every story here was a joy to read, the cuts that stood out and kept me thinking long after were:
-Shadows of the Lonely Dead by Alan Baxter
-At Dusk They Come by Armand Rosamilia
-Burning by Rayne Hall
-Ministry of Outrage by Chris Limb
-Reasons to Kill by J.C. Michael
-The Way of All Flesh by Angela Slatter
And while I received a review copy of this book, I also purchased an official copy. Because you have to support the art that moves you, otherwise that art goes away…
“Artists. Creatives. Art is a Lie – and the best lies are the ones that people believe.”
Zakk is a big dumb animal!