Reviewed by Matthew Johns
This is David A. Riley’s third compilation of horrifying tales, consisting of short stories published between 1971 and 2012. Riley’s style of writing is easy to absorb – his tales of terror are all gripping and slip down a treat.
If you’re a fan of a happy ending, then avoid Riley’s books – few, if any have the protagonist walking away unscathed. This collection sees, amongst other things, a rapist eaten by aliens, a ghostly “hoody” committing murders from beyond the grave, a couple holidaying in a demonic Cornish village (note, non-demonic Cornish villages are available), survivors of a zombie apocalypse thinking that a zombie they’ve found is gaining both consciousness and a conscience, a hiker finds a mysterious farmhouse previously inhabited by an artist known to have dabbled in strange rituals, and in the titular tale, a pair of teenage boys try to spend the night in a haunted house, but one of them is not what he appears…
Riley’s work will appeal to all fans of horror – it feels like “classic horror”, with tales of witchcraft, demons and zombies. All complete page turners, Riley is one to read and return to, again and again.