WOW…I just finished DARK CORNERS by Michael Bray, and I have to tell you: this guy is going to be a superstar in the horror fiction world. If you’ve never heard of him, don’t be ashamed; his first book just debuted last year. But I would wager you will soon hear his name more and more as buzz builds up about his work. DARK CORNERS showcases 12 of his short stories, and they do not disappoint!
If you are not familiar with DARK CORNERS, here is the collection’s plot synopsis courtesy of the author’s official website:
What lurks in the dark? What crawls outside of our perception? Dark Corners explores these places with Twelve Tales which are subtly interlinked. Welcome to a world where the rules of the world no longer apply, where insanity is just a heartbeat away, and the things that crawl in the darkness are unafraid to come into the light. Come closer and turn down the lights. The dark things are waiting.
When I finished this collection, I sat in my recliner for a moment with a huge smile on my face. These stories entertain on many levels, but they also leave a nice tinge of terror imbedded in the reader’s brain. There are a couple of stories that I’m still dwelling on, thanks to their intense nature and/or horrific imagery.
The tales in DARK CORNERS are all written very well. They have a smooth, flowing style that never distracts from the story and thus allows for full sensory immersion into the scenes as they play out. Bray is a powerful storyteller and has a keen ability to focus equally on characterization and detail in his settings while he sets the stage for the terrifying outcomes that ultimately await in each story.
I tore through this book in about two days and loved every minute of it. I was particularly surprised yet very pleased to note that all of the stories are intertwined in some way. This is sometimes subtle and sometimes blatant, but the realization when it occurs prompts an “Aha!” moment from within the reader.
If I were forced to pick a favorite story from DARK CORNERS, I don’t think I could; they’re all too good. But one of my favorites is titled “That Gnawing Feeling”. In this story, a man’s ex-girlfriend and best friend attempt to get rid of him in order to take his inheritance. But they don’t expect him to survive their attempt at murder…and in turn, take his own revenge.
My sole complaint about this collection is the way one of the stories, “The Box”, ended. There was too much vagueness for me, and I found myself mildly disappointed. This in NO WAY is a deterrent from reading the book and you should definitely check the story out for yourself to make your own decision.
DARK CORNERS is an excellent collection of horror and I highly recommend it. Give this a look for sure. And while you’re at it, hop over to the Dark Hall Press website and give the rest of their titles a glance as well.