Shadows & Tall Trees #4Shadows & Tall Trees #4
Edited by Michael Kelly

Undertow Publications
Autumn 2012
Review by Mario Guslandi

The fourth issue of Shadows & Tall Trees, a magazine/anthology devoted to dark fiction, confirms the excellent quality exhibited by its previous volumes.

Editor Michael Kelly keeps working hard to secure fine contributions by distinguished writers thus providing readers with satisfactory, well crafted material.

Most of the stories included in the present issue are indeed top-notch.

Gary Mc Mahon’s “What We Mean When We Talk About the Dead” where a man unaccountably returns from the dead much to the dismay of his family and of himself, is a wonderful mix of horror and human pity, exploring death’s unfathomable secrets.

“Red Rabbit” by Laura Mauro is a tense and intense piece of enigmatic dark fantasy, featuring three loners on the road, following the meaning of elusive red-painted rabbits.

Alison Moore contributes “It Has Happened Before,” a complex, unsettling tableau describing the uneasy and unexpected relationships taking place in a neighborhood.

In the creepy “Bedtime Stories for Yasmin” by Robert Shearman we learn about the frightening power of fables and fairy tales and the indelible mark they leave on the childrens souls.

In Reggie Oliver’s very dark, superb “Didman’s Corner” a widower visiting Suffolk to retrieve happy childhood memories is overwhelmed by disquieting secrets from the past and unsettling events from the present.

The outstanding “We Don’t Keep in Touch Anymore” by Ralph Robert Moore is a poignant tale featuring two men whose trade is buying and reselling ghosts trapped in bottles. But one of them has a grim, personal, secret agenda: to trace the ghost of his premature born (and dead) baby.

To complete the Autumn 2012 issue of the magazine there are stories by David Surface and VH Leslie, movie reviews by Tom Goldstein and a book review by Adam Golaski

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