Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Veteran horror writer Tom Monteleone is the author of countless short stories and novels and a four- time winner of the Bram Stoker Award. As a well-deserved homage to his extraordinary career, Thunderstorm Books has collected five of his novellas, revolving around the subjects of arts in different forms, published in a beautiful hardcover volume. For a reprint collection “Dark Arts” is surprisingly fresh and not a bit outdated, proving once again that good fiction always ages well.
“The Dancer in the Darkness” is a poignant story of love and death set in a Spain imbued with ancient secrets, where dancing becomes the metaphor of life, while “Reharsals” is a Twilight Zone tale featuring a man with many unsolved family issues from his past. In the very disturbing “Looking for Mr Flip” a grown man manages to exorcisize for ever his childhood terrors by returning to his old house. The excellent “The Prime Time of Spenser Golding” portrays a successful reporter investigating a plane crash, who, after meeting a mysterious old guy changes his views about the world. My favourite novella is “Tryptych di Amore” constituted by three enticing, interconnected episodes where a seductive Lamia confronts through the years Mozart, Van Gogh and, finally, a smart Sicilian exorcist.
Monteleone is a skilled storyteller and the book is a quite enjoyable ride across the dark fields of his powerful imagination. Highly recommended.