Suspenseful, dark, mysterious and occasionally macabre, ‘Dead Lake’ is a supernatural thriller set in and around a remote lake cabin.
The anticipation with which the story starts soon turns to foreboding which grows steadily more profound as the tale progresses.
Coates’ writing is enriched with vivid imagery that stimulates the reader’s senses and imagination, immersing them in the curiosity, and then the terror, experienced by Sam, the protagonist of the story. By the two-thirds point of the story, the fear and adrenaline is palpable and the suspense creates a strong sense of dread that is both compelling and distinctly uncomfortable.
Because of its suspense and brooding darkness, this is an excellent read that will appeal to readers of mystery, thrillers, and horror alike.
Readers of horror who want a top quality short read will be well pleased by this dark and twisted short story, which can easily be enjoyed during a coffee or lunch break.
Doyle’s writing is always easy to read and her characters realistic and relatable. That dreadful things can happen to ordinary people is an underlying premise that enables a great horror story to evoke shock and fear in its readers, who are invariably aware of the fact that such things could happen to anyone. When the story takes an unexpected turn, it heightens the anticipation of what is to come and the fear of the unknown.
It is in these elements of the story that Doyle successfully manages to immerse her readers in a situation, turn it around, and leave them gasping, all within the space of just a few minutes.
Macabre and unsettling, this psychological thriller seems disjointed and strangely sequenced until the strands of the story start to pull together.
That which at first appears to be gratuitous splatter for spaltter’s sake turns out to be far more complex psychological horror brought about by a deadly combination of individual volition and a dark power that cannot be explained.
The reader is shocked and disoriented by the twists and turns, just as the characters are, feeling as though the story lurches from one disturbing and not-quite-fully developed scene to the next without sufficient resolution. As the story begins to gel, and the seemingly unrelated events all start to lead to the climax of the story, the reader begins to realise that this was an entirely deliberate and quite complex strategy, designed to emotionally immerse the reader in the confusion and fear evoked by both the actions of the antagonists and the experiences of the victims.
Gory and unpredictable, this is a dark and disturbing read.
A Christmas-themed novella in The Werewolf Whisperer Series, this is a paranormal suspense story that will please readers looking for something darker than Jingle Bells and Winter Wonderland for their December fare.
It’s a great story, full of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. It’s easily read in about an hour, which makes it the perfect length for reading on busy December days.
‘Christmas Australis’ is not your usual Christmas reading fare. Instead of fairy lights and tinsel, you’ll find shadows and dark corners, disreputable people, food that is not to be trusted and family secrets that are even darker than most.
Introducing each story by means of a letter from The Epica adds another layer of mystery and darkness to the collection, while the distinctly Australian flavour of the stories adds a unique quality to the anthology that sets it apart from other Christmas collections.
This excellent anthology will certainly add a delicious dash of darkness to your Christmas reading.
A collection of well-crafted and varied short stories, ‘Dark Little Wonders’ definitely lives up to its title.
The stories are all quite different, invariably dark, and full of twists and surprises. Taken one by one, each story challenges the reader to see life – and death – from a different perspective. In combination, this collection of dark fiction reminds the reader that one can be haunted by many more things than just ghosts.
The writing is very good and the characters are realistic, each having burdens, flaws, and motivations to which the reader can easily relate. This adds punch to every twist sand makes the message of each story more powerful.
‘Dark Little Wonders and Other Stories’ is an excellent read.
This is a very good story that grows increasingly eerie and discomfiting as the narrative develops. The writing is evocative and rich in imagery, luring the reader into the quite sentimental and old-timey feel of the story before delivering the twists that dramatically change the tone and intent of the narrative.
The characters are nicely developed, using the familiarity between them to engage the reader in their conversation and interactions and develop some affection for them. This, in turn, enhances the effect of the darkness that creeps into the story and takes control of it.
‘Shypoke’ delivers a satisfyingly chilling ending to a well-crafted creepy tale.
This is a good short story for October and Halloween reading. What starts as a sinister and tense story develops into a tale of fear and flight before growing darker and more horrific.
The tension and sense of dread grow steadily, making both the main character and the reader increasingly uncomfortable before the true horror of the forest is revealed. The author combines elements of foreboding, macabre, revulsion and fear to influence the reader’s feelings and reactions.
Even though the title gives away the fact that there’s something lurking in the woods, this story is quite original and well written.
There is some adult content, so it’s not recommended for kids.
It’s common knowledge that taking drugs isn’t good for you — and you should never take something if you don’t know what it is.
This chilling tale reinforces that premise in a very powerful and graphic way. The portrayal of seedy drug dealers and drug use may seem stereotypical to some but is probably quite accurate and certainly feels realistic to the reader.
Camille’s experiences when she swallows what is in the black vial are shocking on both a physical and a psychological level. The author combines the horror of the unknown with a very cleverly constructed sense of dread to position the reader to fear for Camille and anticipate possible outcomes that may await her.
At times grungy, at other times macabre, this a short but effective dark suspense story.