Spine: A Collection of Twisted Tales by Stephen Jenkins

First published, 2015

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This spine-chilling collection contains eight stories: each of them, absolutely cracking. I loved this book. The writing is delicate but powerful, the characters three-dimensional and sound, the stories are truly scary and in no way contrived – I expect the echoes to stay with me for some time. The pacing, which is so desperately important in horror stories, was exceptional. I found myself charging ahead, desperate to get to the gore, just to put myself out of my misery, but the writer had such restraint and talent for holding me in place, that every ounce of ghostly gooeyness was played out for all it was worth.

For example:
“Only the twisted, sadist, tormented spirits get left behind. There is no light for them. No Hell. No judgement. There is only the earth, to wallow in their mistakes, their misery, their self-pity.
“But we see them. Every last one of them. And every day we watch them gain strength, power. Hatred. You can run, but they’ll catch you. You can hide, but they will find you. The dead are always near, always watching.”
6%, The Our-Side, Spine: A Collection of Twisted Tales by Stephen Jenkins

My heart near stopped. Excellent stuff. I’ll be sure to look out for more from this author in future.