DOUBLE BARREL HORROR: An Anthology of 12 Stories by 6 Authors (Pint Bottle Press)
This collection of stories is unique in that it’s like the old “Rock Block” the radio stations used to do, or more accurately the “Twofers” What the editor has done is allow each contributor two stories to flex their muscles. And there is some muscle here…and sinew and plenty of the red stuff!
The first pair come from Amanda Hard, her opening tale CHEF AND THE MAIDEN concerns a very determined man with special tastes and the young lady unlucky enough to answer his ad, or is she? The second story, THE THINGS WE DO FOR OUR CHILDREN is a very dark and unsettling retooling of the W.W. Jacobs classic THE MONKEY’S PAW.
With ONE DIRT ROAD K. Trap Jones mines familiar ore around the urban legend trope but then hits a vein when the legend proves true. But it’s the second tale, LAST CLOWN OUT that truly slaps the painted face here–an angry and bitter clown houses some sinister designs on revenge against his fellow clowns.
Vic Kerry’s GILDED LILY is a wildly imaginative tale of an expectant young couple and the strange woods the hedge their property. While THE LITTLE GIRL is a toothsome tale of guilt and consequences.
Author J.C. Michael offers up “Just One Pound” offers a deeper delve into the world of thug justice and the fall out. MEETINGS WITH THE DEVIL is pretty much what the title promises.
Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza (Sister of Slaughter as they are known) hand in JUST A FEW wherein junkies and monsters duke it out when the druggies break into the house of an elderly couple to steal their meds. TENANT’S RIGHTS deals with a young woman who encounters problems with her new apartment and feels that the landlord is ignoring them…until he begins to plead with her to get out of it.
Editor, Matthew Weber takes the closing spot with his pair of stories, BEWARE THE WHAMMY is about a small town, low life’s and curses. SWALLOWED is about a bully who is devoured by a monster and the sole witness can’t seem to get anyone to listen.
The stories here are quick and easy. They swagger on the pulpy side of the fence and I like that. They’re vicious little bites of brutal and grisly horror. This is a great showcase of new talent. (John Boden)