I’ve said it countless times before, and I’ll say it again now: I sure do love short horror stories! Just about anybody can write a book-length story…it’s not difficult to fill page after page with what you’re trying to convey. But when an author tackles a short story, the rules change; the story has to be concise yet entertaining. Thus, it takes quite a bit of talent to master the short tale. If an author can do that, then the first step towards success has been taken. Such is the case with RESTLESS NIGHTS. Author Michael S. Albert showcases his up-and-coming skills with a collection of shorts that will leave you chilled to the bone!
If you are not familiar with RESTLESS NIGHTS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of No Frills Buffalo:
Restless Nights: 13 Tales of the Macabre is a single author collection of thirteen stories of dark suspense and horror by author Dr. Michael Albert, a pathologist from Orchard Park, N.Y. The stories are a grim reflection of the fundamental fears and anxieties that are hidden but never vanquished from the human psyche. The author will travel with you into the mind of a brutal serial killer as well as guide you through an autopsy carried out alone by a pathologist in the dead of night. You will experience the terror of a family isolated in a remote farmhouse during a severe thunderstorm as an axe murderer lurks in their neck of the woods. Experience the fear as a group of young boys break into a funeral home late one night in order to see a “real dead body.” The author is a master of unexpected endings and twisted plots. The stories cover the gamut from animated corpses to a black ops military mission gone wrong and an insurance scam which leads to tragedy. One tale includes a visit to an asylum which houses a particularly nasty serial killer. The Party deals with the morally challenging ideas of euthanasia and suicide in a dying cancer patient. For a genre that often lapses into formula, this collection is as refreshing as it is unsettling.
RESTLESS NIGHTS is the perfect title for this collection; I lost three hours of sleep the other night while I was finishing it up. It was well worth it, too. This is a top notch anthology that you will want to read more than once.
The stories in RESTLESS NIGHTS are written well and only contain a couple of minor editing flaws (I think I found two misused words in the whole book…like ‘me’ instead of ‘my’, etc.). The premises are unique for the most part, and I have to commend Albert for his Twilight Zone-like endings on a couple. These made me actually smile when I finished reading them.
My favorite story has to be “The Wager”. In this story, a group of friends makes a bet as to who will live the longest; whoever wins will get a large sum of money. But the final survivor is not quite what he seems…and the news he receives at the end of the story is very fitting. I like the tone of this story and the way it unravels.
RESTLESS NIGHTS is a great anthology, and I recommend it to anyone who likes shorts and/or horror. It is available now in physical and e-book forms.