Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
David A Riley is a Â renowned horror author whoâ€™s been around for quite a while and has contributed numerous stories in various magazines and anthologies. Apparently (and incredibly)Â heâ€™s having his first collection published only now, courtesy of Hazardous Press. I must say it was high time that somebody would take care of this unbelievable oversight, because Riley is a good writer, endowed withÂ a solid storytelling proficiency andÂ an expert craftsman of the horror genre.
His Own Mad Demons is a slim book of 167 pagesÂ collectingÂ five of Rileyâ€™s tales. Why these particular stories have been selected among his prolific body of work I couldnâ€™t say, itâ€™s not clear and no explanationÂ is provided by either author or publisher. At any rate all the stories are well worth reading .
The excellent â€œTheir Own Mad Demonsâ€ is a strong, terrifying mix between a supernatural tale and a gangster story featuring a peculiar ghost. While â€œThe True Spiritâ€ is an intoxicating, horrific brewÂ (not quite plausible, but deeply unsettling) the ingredients of which are witchcraft, carnage and reincarnation.
In the tense, claustrophobic â€œLock-inâ€Â a group of men are trapped inside a pub surrounded by a deep, deadly darknessÂ concealing a murderous horror.
â€œThe Fragile Mask On His Faceâ€ is a spectacular example of graphic horror where the unaccounted disappearance of a young girl reveals an abyss of evil and violence. Squeamish people are advised to keep off.
Finally in â€œThe Worst of All Possible Placesâ€ Â Â Â a tower building becomes a living hell, Â inhabited by the scum of the earth and by no longer human creatures in a scenery of dirt, decay, moral and physical degradation.
Enjoy and look forward to Davidâ€™s forthcomingÂ collection â€œThe Lurkers in the Abyssâ€.