For the most part I tried to stick to horror anthologies, but there one or two full novels did end up in the mix.
I'm going to try to post a new review every week until Halloween, and maybe keep going through November. Depends on how quickly I can read through them. Here's my first review of the season.
The stories in Walking After Midnight are short and simple in a good way. They feel like tales you might tell a friend to pass the time while you’re driving down a lonely lightless road at 1am. They also reminded of the classic creepy books from my childhood. Books like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark or, well, Scary Stories For Sleep-Overs.
The book is a quick read and while the stories won’t necessarily frighten you, they will certainly get you in that eerie autumn mood.
The first story is actually the weakest of the bunch on its own. It borrows too much imagery from Slenderman, Freddy Kreuger and Shadow People mythology without adding anything new. Even so, an anthology often works best as the sum of its parts and The Hat Man, when viewed as part of the book as a whole, adds that essential “boogeyman” element to the Halloween season.
Who doesn’t love a fall hayride? It’s an integral part of any trip to an orchard or harvest festival. Just make sure that the ride is actually supposed to be part of the attractions.
A Good Samaritan
Everyone knows someone, or knows someone who knows someone, who has met a person in apparent need on a lonely road and felt that creeping anxiety that something wasn’t right...
Walking After Midnight
In the titular story, a man returns to the small rural town he left many years ago. While reminiscing with an old friend, he gets an idea to visit an old forgotten graveyard the two of them used to explore when they were kids. As they tromp through the cracked, eroded tombstones, they soon realize they are not alone in the dark. But it’s just the old sheriff giving them a hard time, isn’t it?
Into the Abyss
Ouija boards are just a goofy toy invented in the 1890s as a parlor game. Despite all the moral panic, a piece of cardboard with numbers on it and a little wooden planchette can’t actually summon spirits, can it? No points for guessing.
Trick & Treat
Shelley loves Halloween (don’t we all?) Unfortunately she and her husband live way, way out in the middle of nowhere. Despite all her spooky decorations, no trick-or-treaters ever come. Until tonight.
Walking After Midnight is an eerie, quick read. An appetizer to get you ready for more as the days grow short and the wind starts to smell of autumn leaves.
You can get a Kindle copy here