Title: Accents of Horror: Four Flavors of Death
Author: Chris Snider
Genre: Horror; Short Stories
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) What would you do if you saw a hitchhiker on the side of the road on a rainy night? What if you saw headlights coming at you over a hill, but they disappeared into nowhere? What if the Grim Reaper showed up at your door while you were sitting down to dinner with your family? What if you were an out of work actor and the man who stole your job sat down beside you in a diner? All of these questions will be answered by the characters of Accents of Horror: Four Flavors of Death, by horror writer Chris Snider.
Review: While I was reading this, I continuously thought of who the best audience for this would be, and at the end of the first tale, I realized it would be good for teenagers at a camp campfire. With the right voice and the right mood, these stories could creep anyone out a bit. A few typos got in the way of my enjoyment, but I particularly like the Death tale. It reminded me of Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death.” After reading all of the tales of horror, I definitely had this “looking over my shoulder at any stray sound” vibe going on. Very cool.
*Special thanks to the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Little Stranger
Author: Sarah Waters
Genre: Mystery; Gothic
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) The Little Stranger follows the strange adventures of Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline, its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at twenty to nine. But are the Ayreses haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life? Little does Dr. Faraday know how closely, and how terrifyingly, their story is about to become entwined with his.
Review: I compared this book to Wuthering Heights for a class assignment and was surprised by how well written this book was. It’s got a dash of paranormal, a smidgen of mystery, a heaping spoonful of haunted, and a small bit of romance. If you’re interested in a haunted house and a bit of an annoying lead, this book is for you.
Following Dr. Faraday, the reader is allowed access to the Ayres family estate which has seen better days. His narration made me roll my eyes a bit while reading. He’s a grown adult, but stunted by the events of his past, he acts like a whiny child while around the Ayres. He is constantly trying to measure up to the grandeur of their name (or at least what their name used to be) and finds himself falling short all the time. Meanwhile, the Ayres family is going THROUGH some ish. There’s a supernatural element to the house that can’t be explained, an energy that is toxic. This energy leads to a building tension and later, a series of unfortunate events.
If gothic fiction is your thing, I think you’ll enjoy this one.