The Good Unknown and Other Ghost Stories
Stephen Volk
Tartarus Press (2023)
Reviewed by Mario Guslandi

A renowned, excellent author of dark fiction, Stephen Volk returns with a new short story collection featuring eleven tales, three of which previously unpublished.

“The Waiting Room” is an engrossing story featuring Charles Dickens, describing some supernatural events he apparently experienced in real life, while “Three Fingers, One Thumb” is  a chilling piece of fiction depicting the worst nightmares that parents can endure.

The superb “The Flickering Light” revolves around a dinner among friends where the flickering of a light bulb elicits memories and produces paranormal feelings.

In “Baby on Board,” an unusually delicate ghost story, the spirit of a dead baby keeps haunting his father’s car.

“Cold Ashton” is an enticing “folk horror” tale where superstition and paranormal blend to explain who’s ploughing at night a widow’s fields.

The novella “Lost Loved Ones” is apparently a sequel to Volk’s television series Afterlife, that obviously I haven’t seen (so I probably missed some clues scattered in the new narration) featuring a psychic medium whose father has recently passed away.

The title story “The Good Unknown” is a delightfully ambiguous tale of life and death taking place  on a movie set.

Volk has provided once again a splendid book. I understand that the hardcover edition is already sold out, but a soft cover is forthcoming very soon. Don’t miss it.

About Mario Guslandi

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