A Sliver of Darkness
The debut short-story collection from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man, hailed as “Britain’s female Stephen King” (Daily Mail), featuring eleven bone-chilling and mind-bending tales
“All hail the queen of scream. A Sliver of Darkness is C. J. Tudor at her spine-tingling, nightmare-inducing best. Read it if you dare.”—Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End
Time slips. Doomsday scenarios. Killer butterflies. C. J. Tudor’s novels are widely acclaimed for their dark, twisty suspense plots, but with A Sliver of Darkness, she pulls us even further into her dizzying imagination.
In “The Lion at the Gate,” a strange piece of graffiti leads to a terrifying encounter for four school friends. In “Final Course,” the world has descended into darkness, but a group of old friends make time for one last dinner party. In “Runaway Blues,” thwarted love, revenge, and something very nasty stowed in a hat box converge. In “Gloria,” a strange girl at a service station endears herself to a coldhearted killer, but can a leopard really change its spots? And in “I’m Not Ted,” a case of mistaken identity has unforeseen fatal consequences.
Riveting, macabre, and explosively original, A Sliver of Darkness is C. J. Tudor at her most wicked and uninhibited.
Tudor (The Burning Girls) provides plenty of subtle chills in this superior collection of 11 stories. The highlight is "End of the Liner," a powerful postapocalyptic tale that only hints at what has devastated most of humanity. Leila has lived exclusively on a perpetually cruising luxury liner for 50 years, an ostensible life of leisure, full of entertaining diversions from a Disney-like company. But the games, costumed characters, courteous service, and fancy meals are just a facade; people disappear, often jumping overboard out of despair from being trapped onboard, and the need to limit population growth means that those turning 75 are "retired," a euphemism for being tossed into the ocean. With her own retirement date nearing, Leila must come to terms with her impending death. "The Block" gives serious Stranger Things vibes, as a group of kids investigate a huge block of flats in Nottingham, England, rumored to house some monstrous inhabitants. Tudor avoids clichés and facilitates suspending disbelief by making all her characters credible, no matter how fantastic the situation they find themselves in. Twilight Zone fans will hope for another collection from this gifted writer. Agent: Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Literary.