Today I have a new review in Booklist's May 1 issue. And it is a must buy collection for all public libraries because Josh Malerman wrote the introduction and his fans will want to read this. But more on the review and appeal of this collection in a moment.
But first, I want to remind all of you that the May issue of Booklist is one of the best as it is the spotlight on Crime Fiction. So please head over the Booklist Online to see all of the coverage. There are links to useful lists like:
- Top 10 Mysteries and Thrillers on Audio 2021
- Top 10 Crime Fiction Debuts 2021
- Top 10 Crime Fiction 2021
First published May 1, 2021 (Booklist).
The events occurring the eight stories in Francassi’s second collection are, at first glance, deceptively innocuous: a wedding day, a date at the pier, or the story of two lifelong friends, but as Josh Malerman notes in the introduction, these seemingly small scenarios have enormous repercussions. Of course they do because this is Horror through and through. So that wedding is visited by a man with supernatural powers, the pier is the site of death and destruction, and one of those friends is Death. However, these are not tales centered around the terrifying action that occurs or even the characters it all happens to. Rather, this is a collection that articulates the dark emotions of the genre itself-- unease, anxiety and dread-- as each tale turns from slightly unsettling to palpably terrifying on a dime, often with a single sentence, and the results are breathtaking. This is a must read collection for those who enjoy horror in its short form by authors who can morph two dimensional words on the page into a very real terror from which readers cannot hide, even if they wanted to, such as Nadia Bulkin and John Langan.
Three Words That Describe This Book: slathered in dread, economy of words, overflowing with emotion
Further Appeal: I cannot stress enough how these stories are all about the dread. The characters and even the plot do not matter as much as how each story makes you feel.
Each story contains at least one line [if not more] that will make readers pause to ogle its brevity and how perfectly a few words can convey deliciously dark emotions, slather the story in dread, and turn the tale from unsettling to palpably terrifying on a dime. It is an immersive experience as a reader.
And this is all without considering that Josh Malerman wrote the introduction. This alone would be a reason for you to consider adding this book to your collections. Quite honestly, it is why I jumped on a chance to review it because I knew there would be interest and I wanted to give you all guidance beyond, "Malerman told me to read it."
Readalikes: The two above are an excellent option, but I also recently read and reviewed 2 other collections that would also work well. Click on the titles below for reviews:
- I Would Haunt You If I Could by Sean Padraic Birnie
- To Drown in Dark Water by Steve Toase