Don't Let Them InDon’t Let Them In
by Elizabeth Fields
ISBN:  978-0615615196
March 12, 2012; $12.95
Reviewed by Matthew Baker
I’ve probably read thousands of short stories in my time, but hopefully I’ll have the chance to read thousands more before I die.  I’ve mentioned before that I love shorts and that statement still holds true today.  Writing short stories is an art and is not easy to do; therefore, when I run across authors that do well in the craft, I cling to them like glue.  The lovely and talented Elizabeth Fields seems to have a fine grasp on the short story, and this collection of six horror shorts showcases that ability.

If you are not familiar with DON’T LET THEM IN, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Elizabeth Fields’ website:

This collection of six horrifying tales includes:

The Debt Collector:
When a down on his luck actor meets a beautiful woman in a bar, things finally seem to be looking up for him. But is she really the woman of his dreams, or his worst nightmare?

Plenty of Flesh in the Sea:
Siblings, Emily and Sam, have an unusually close bond. Growing up, they only had each other to rely on. Now, as young adults, they’ve done their best to take on the regular responsibilities that come with maturity, but something is still holding them back from leading normal, healthy lives, a hunger they just can’t seem to satisfy. Not to worry; if they can’t find what they’re looking for just yet, there’s still plenty of flesh in the sea. 

The Joys of Motherhood:
A young married couple is about to welcome their first baby, but the new baby may not be the bundle of joy they’ve been expecting. 

Simon and his dog, Lucy, are inseparable, that is until Lucy goes through some changes.

Campfire Tales:
Since high school, a group of six friends have been coming to this one campsite for an annual get away. They reconnect with each other and with nature this time every year, and at night, in the grand tradition of camping, they sit around the fire and try to scare each other with ghost stories they’ve already heard many times before. This night, however, will be a little different. A story will be told that they haven’t heard before, and they may just wish they hadn’t heard it to begin with. 

All Sales Are Final: 
Kathy and Mike have come into town to take care of some last minute things before their dear Aunt Mille moves in with them, or so they say. They’ve set up a yard sale to help Millie get rid of some her possessions to help ease the move. Will Mike and Kathy make the yard sale killing they so desire?

This book is short in length, only 90 pages long, but it certainly doesn’t lack in talent or entertainment value.  There are plenty of chills and frights to go around in this compilation.  From terrifying newborns to bizarre yard sales, this book has a little bit of everything.

Fields writes with a smooth, simple style that does not overwhelm the reader and allows for a pleasant reading experience.  Her prose is well developed and her stories flow well.  The result is a fun and thrilling experience that will leave you wanting to read more.

DON’T LET THEM IN contains a couple of original stories, however there are also a couple that we might have heard before (in concept only, that is); those that are familiar are written well and do have unique twists, so do not let that dissuade you in any way from giving this collection a look.  Even though I found a couple of the plots familiar, I enjoyed them nonetheless.

My favorite story in this collection is “Plenty of Flesh in the Sea”.  In this tale, a brother and sister have unnatural cravings that can only be satiated by heinous acts involving other people.  But these siblings are not bad…they’re just trying to survive.  This story made me smile and cringe at the same time.

DON’T LET THEM IN is a true win for me, and I highly recommend giving it a look.  I can’t wait to see what Fields does next, but hopefully it’s just as good as this one.

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