His Own Mad Demons by David A. Riley. Book review

HIS OWN MAD DEMONS By David A. Riley, Parallel Universe Publications, s/b, no price stated

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

This compilation of David A. Riley’s slightly longer tales contains five of his inimitable horror stories.  Beginning with a tale of gangsters dabbling with forces they don’t understand in “His Own Mad Demons”, where petty thief Nobby finds that his paymaster isn’t who he appears to be.  “Lock-In” sees a group of old soaks locked in a pub that gets transported to another dimension, thanks to the work of a lodger at the pub.  “The Fragile Mask on his Face” tells of a serial killer who likes to remove the skin from the faces of his victims, and in a rarity for a Riley story, one of his victims actually lives to tell the tale.  “The True Spirit” is set in a town in Northern England, where dark, satanic mills once operated.  Finally, in “The Worst of All Possible Places”, a divorcee finds himself housed by the local council in a tower block populated by demonic forces, killers and undead drug addicts.

Riley’s work is classic horror – he doesn’t resort to swearing or unnecessary depictions of torture to attract his readers.  His tales are all set in environments that will be very familiar to many Brits – the pub plays a big part in some of his stories.   If you’ve not tried Riley’s work before, this is a perfect introduction to his own brand of horror.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.