Stephen King, Lisa Morton, Nell Quinn-Gibney, Norman Prentiss, Joyce Carol Oates, and Tim Curran plunge readers into the dark side in this deeply unsettling short-story collection curated by legendary horror editors Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar.
THE OLD DUDE’S TICKER by Stephen King
Richard Drogan has been spooked ever since he came back from Nam, but he’s no head case, dig? He just knows the old dude needs to die.
THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT by Lisa Morton
Even though she made her name revealing the private lives of the rich and famous, Sara Peck has no idea how deep their secrets really go . . . or the price they’ll pay to get what they desire.
THE MANICURE by Nell Quinn-Gibney
A trip to the nail salon is supposed to be relaxing. But as the demons of the past creep closer with every clip, even the most serene day of pampering can become a nightmare.
THE COMFORTING VOICE by Norman Prentiss
It’s a little strange how baby Lydia can only be soothed by her grandfather’s unnatural voice, ravaged by throat cancer. The weirdest part? What he’s saying is more disturbing than how he says it.
THE SITUATIONS by Joyce Carol Oates
There are certain lessons children must learn, rules they must follow, scars they must bear. No lesson is more important than this: Never question Daddy. Or else.
THE CORPSE KING by Tim Curran
Grave robbers Kierney and Clow keep one step ahead of the law as they ply their ghoulish trade, but there’s no outrunning a far more frightening enemy that hungers for the dead.
Praise for the Dark Screams series
“A wicked treat [featuring] . . . some of the genre’s best.”—Hellnotes, on Volume One
“Five fun-to-read stories by top-notch horror scribes. How can you lose? The answer: you can’t.”—Atomic Fangirl, on Volume Two
“If you have not tried the series yet, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of any (or all) of the books for yourself.”—Examiner.com, on Volume Three
“Fans of horror of every variety will find something to love in these pages.”—LitReactor, on Volume Four
“[Volume Five] runs the gamut from throwback horror to lyrical and heartbreaking tales.”—Publishers Weekly
Another volley in the thrilling Dark Screams series!
I received an advance reader copy (arc) of this book for the purpose of providing an honest review.
I continue to enjoy this anthology series and this installment again allows readers an introduction to a wide and varied group of authors … some great, some good and some deftly in the category of “other.” This is the largest of the anthologies yet … in terms of page count and the range from great to really bad in stories.
I enjoyed King and Prentiss as always. Morton and Oates also livened up the party. I wasn’t thrilled (but not overly disappointed) with Quinn-Gibney and would have rather been in Quinn-Gibney’s story than had to read Curran’s missive.
This anthology includes these stories:
—The Old Dude’s Ticker, by Stephen King. Would anyone like some re-heated Poe? But, in a good way. Any fan of Poe’s will find this updated a frenetic take on The Tell-Tale Heart entertaining and suspenseful. 4.5 stars
—The Rich Are Different, by Lisa Morton, And how truly different are they? Especially with our current political climate, we see what some are willing to exchange or comfort and prosperity. Humanity for sale? 3.5 stars
—The Manicure, by Nell Quinn-Gibney, An ordinary mani-pedi day dredges up a memory per digit with sinister results. 3.0 stars
—The Comforting Voice, by Norman Prentiss, As is Norman’s gift, he deftly brings this family of characters to life, breathing separate and distinct personalities into each. Does the end justify the means? You will have to decide. 4.5 stars
—The Situations, by Joyce Carol Oates, Sometimes the kitty wins and sometimes Daddy wins. I guess it depends on the situation. 4.0 stars
—The Corpse King, by Tim Curran, I have never been more disappointed in a story. Tortuous, arduous, rambling … I only finished reading the story as an object lesson in not giving up, painful though it was. 1.0 star