Monday, 21 September 2020

Unbecoming Me, & Other Interruptions by Christopher Stanley

 


A chilling new short story collection from the author of The Forest is Hungry and The Lamppost Huggers and Other Wretched Tales.

In 'Devil's Reach', a frantic father boards a ferry, hoping to save his daughter and escape his wife. But nothing is as it seems as the ferry sails into darkness, and there are forces at work he won’t begin to understand until it’s too late.

In 'Hell's Teeth', a young girl enlists the help of supernatural forces to exact revenge on the school bully, only to find she can’t live with guilt.

And in the final story, 'Unbecoming Me', a young man’s desperate search for love takes an unexpected turn after he’s rejected by the woman of his dreams.

Dark, sinister and unforgiving – Unbecoming Me & Other Interruptions will make you want to sleep with the lights on.

Demain Publishing is back and I couldn't be happier! I've just finished reading Curfew by Kev Harrison and now Unbecoming Me, & Other Interruptions by another greatly talented author, Christopher Stanley. Recently I read The Lamppost Huggers, his debut flash collection and absolutely loved it.




His first offering with Demain Publishing was a novelette, The Forest Is Hungry, which I loved, British horror at it's best. So I had really high expectations for this mini collection of three short stories - Devil's Reach, Hell's Teeth and Unbecoming Me. 



The first tale, and also my favourite is Devil's Reach. This is a mad creepy tale of a husband trying to escape from his controlling wife with their nine month old baby. He's made it to the ferry but can he start a fresh once he lands on the other side? I loved this tale, it was fantastic from beginning to end. It's a really gripping story that hooks you in.

Hell's Teeth is the darkest story I've read in a long time. I really loved Daisy, this poor little girl who has a miserable time at school. She's an easy target for the school bully but finds a way to get this monster off her back. But of course there's no happy ending  for anyone involved here.

Unbecoming me, tells the story of two twins navigating their way through life, except one died at birth. I really liked the strangeness of this tale when one twin has a life changing moment of falling in love with the wrong person.

All in all, a great collection. I can't wait to read more in the series!




Curfew by Kev Harrison

 



When Jamie takes his girlfriend for a summer anniversary getaway by the sea, he thinks only the great British weather can ruin his plans. But he hasn’t accounted for Mrs Heinz, the bizarre proprietor of The Sailor’s Rest, and her obsessive fixation on midnight and curfew...


I'm so excited that Demain Publishing is back with another onslaught of horror! Seriously this series is really addictive! 

Over the years I've read a lot of Kev Harrison's work. They're all great fun and of course very dark. I loved his previous tale in the series - Cinders of a Bind Man Who Could See. This was an excellent serving of folk horror set in a small community in Northern England.



The last tale I read by Kev was his folk horror novella,  The Balance, which I absolutely loved. It's a great reinterpretation of the legendary Baba Yaga folk tale with a modern twist. It's gone on to receive great praise and now's he's back with Curfew.


Curfew is about a fun romantic weekend going very wrong! Jamie takes his girlfriend down to Bournemouth for a fun weekend by the sea. They've been dating for two years and he wants to show her how much she means to him.

Their bed and breakfast is perfect, it's delightfully quaint and old fashioned, clean and well kept. The prefect setting for a romantic weekend except for the proprietor - Mrs Heinz. She expects all her paying guests to be in their rooms by midnight - no exceptions!

Once midnight hits there's a change in the guesthouse located out of town. Jamie grows curious he doesn't like being dictated to by a sour old woman sitting by the fire waiting for something.

This is a quick read, perfect for when you're between books. The tale starts quickly and is great fun throughout. The characters do feel like a real couple who only want to have fun before their daily grind resumes on Monday.

I loved the ending too, but obviously can't say much about that without giving out spoilers!