A Sliver of Darkness by C J Tudor – review

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Publication date – 29 September 2022

Source – review copy

Join a group of survivors who wash up on a deserted island only to make a horrifying discovery.

Meet a cold-hearted killer who befriends a strange young girl at a motorway service station.

Travel along eerie country lanes in a world gone dark, enter a block of flats with the most monstrous of occupants and accompany a ruthless estate agent on a house sale that goes apocalyptically wrong.

These eleven twisted tales of the macabre from the bestselling author of The Chalk Man and The Burning Girls are your perfect companions as the nights draw in . . .

If you’re brave enough.

These are stories where the normal is turned on it’s head. There is graffiti that comes alive, an abandoned block of flats that houses a terrible secret. A deserted island holds a deadly secret, a cruise ship that never nears land and a little girl is not what she seems. There’s an estate agent that takes the stereotype to a different level and a contract killer who makes a new friend.

There’s a skill to writing short stories well. There needs to be the balance between brevity and narrative content. The reader has to be engaged immediately, the words chosen carefully to ensure that the story feels as complete and whole as it can. CJ Tudor has that skill. Each story is varied but yet has that otherworldly feel, a sense of horror and a slightly skewed view of the norm. They vary in length and content so that they don’t feel samey, but feel like a cohesive collection.

A good thing about a short story collection is that they are easy to pick up and put down. A story can be squeezed in between chores, whilst cooking meals. Or it can be wallowed in, it sometimes seems easier and quicker to read multiple stories contained in one book than a full novel. They are also great for a short, sharp distraction.

It’s always hard to review short stories collections in that going into too much detail about the contents can run the tales for readers. There were some stories I liked more than others, with collections that is often the case. For me the stand out stories included a story where there is perpetual darkness, a cruise ship where the cheery exterior hides a darker truth and the story of the contract killer thrown off kilter by her meeting of a young girl in a service station.

If you like stories with a hint of horror, the threat of evil, an otherness, then this collection is for you.

You can buy a copy of the book at Bookshop.Org.

(This is an affiliate link so I may earn a few pence if you but through here.)

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