Devils in Dark Houses wasn’t he book I was expecting to read. My take on the publisher’s blurb led me to expect four linked tales of terror and horror. While one of the stories, Each Castle Its King, could be described as a traditional horror, the other four were more what I’d call psychological thrillers, and damn good ones at that.
Connecting all four storied are Detectives Martinez and Shirdon, partners in Oregon where each story takes place. Although they appear in each story it is in the final tale, the titular Devils in Dark Houses where their presence is most pertinent to the tale.
Each novella is quite distinct from the others and offers a unique take on an aspect of modern living. The stories themselves wouldn’t be out of place as episodes in an American police series. This gives them a relevance that is sometimes missing from ‘olde worlde’ horror.
The author uses the internet, police corruption and identity theft to explore the dark side of the human psyche and as a result has provided the reader with stories that are close to their own experiences which has the result of making the tales more unsettling.
I’m not sure if I could say I had a favourite story within the book but the first one, The Eye That Binds, is the one I liked least.
All in all, Devils in Dark Houses is an excellent collection.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.