By Various authors
Horrific Tales Publishing; First Edition (July 21, 2013)
Reviewed by Eden Royce
Great British Horror Volume 1 is a collection of eight complete novellas showcasing some of the United Kingdom’s strongest new voices. All proceeds from the sale of this huge volume will be donated to Centrepoint, a UK based charity that cares for homeless children.
I’m a sucker for an omnibus edition anyway, but throw in a charitable donation and I love it all the more.
The donated stories encompass several varieties of horror: serial killers, possession, and flesh-rending monsters. While there were some typos, it was an enjoyable read. I read one novella then took a short break before starting the next so that I could focus on the differences in style and storyline.
Standouts for me were:
The Thing Behind the Door by G.R. Yeates
Yeates starts off this compilation with a fierce tale of revenge. Three school friends, now adults and living their own troubled lives, are led back to the dilapidated building where they once teased and tortured a child. That child has since made a deal to get them all back for what they did. A deal with some thing…
Happily Ever After by Matt Shaw
To what lengths will a man in love go? Turns out it’s down a road filled with kidnapping, torture, and psychological trauma. And that’s just part of his journey. Shaw is able to create horrific scenes while giving us the point of view of the disturbed Peter, who is sure that his most recent acquisition will come to care for him.
Disturbingly enough, Shaw was able to make me empathize with the main character, who just wants someone to love. However, his delusions force him to go about finding it in the sickest way.
Insulation by Craig Saunders
Ever had problems with noisy neighbors? In Saunder’s novella, a reserved writer wishes she hadn’t found out why her flat is kept so well insulated. A blood-filled look at the desperate measures a woman can be pushed to when faced with her own death.
Sammie By Iain Rob Wright
An alcoholic priest is summoned to a remote estate, along with a con man turned debunker of paranormal activity. The reason? A child has begun acting strangely and exhibiting signs of physical deterioration. But he says he’s never felt better.
Wright creates a story of possession, sin, and redemption with an ending you may not expect. It resounded with disturbing scenes, religious imagery, and several broken damaged souls. It is these ravaged people that have to solve the mystery of Sammie before they are themselves destroyed.
Creepy and chilling. Filled with hope and despair closely entwined.
I also enjoyed all of the short stories at the end of the anthology. They were inventive little bonuses that I didn’t know would be included and I devoured them straight after reading the final novella.
As this is Volume One, I can say that Volume Two already has a purchaser in me.