Source: Review copy
Publication: 29 September 2022 from Michael Joseph
A creak of the floorboard, a shiver down your spine, the feeling that you’re not alone . . .
Join a group of survivors who wash up on a deserted island only to make a horrifying discovery.
Meet a cold-hearted killer who befriends a strange young girl at a motorway service station.
Travel along eerie country lanes in a world gone dark, enter a block of flats with the most monstrous of occupants and accompany a ruthless estate agent on a house sale that goes apocalyptically wrong.
These eleven twisted tales of the macabre from the bestselling author of The Chalk Man and The Burning Girls are your perfect companions as the nights draw in . . .
If you’re brave enough.
Wow! This really is a chilling and creepy set of short stories from the mistress of all things dark and deadly, out just in time for those All Hallows eve nights when things go bump in the dead of night…
These are tales of mystery and imagination (as they used to say on TV) many written during the pandemic. A mixture of horror and mysterious goings on, each of these stories gives you an insight into the mind of C.J Tudor, who gleefully tells us in her individual introductions, what inspired each one.
Here there are tales which will scare you, stories to send a chill up your spine, sometimes with a dystopian feel, sometimes in a different time and place, and sometimes scary as hell and rooted in the here and now.
There’s menace and a warped sense of humour, alongside mistaken identity, spooky tower blocks and butterflies that gave me the creeps.
From Butterfly Island to Gran Canaria; from a copy shop to a cruise liner, these are nightmare making stories that surprise and scare, make you laugh and have you squealing. This is a collection of the dark and the macabre; of love at its worst and revenge and its best.
C.J. Tudor has written a collection of eleven short stories which all are all original and most of which are completely unpredictable. Not a single dud which is no mean feat. Runaway Blues, her tribute to Stephen King, is a brilliantly written, dark and creepy tale, but honestly, each of these stories has something to offer and everyone will have different favourites according to taste and mood at the time.
Verdict: This really is a great collection of weird and wonderful stories from a writer with wonderful powers of imagination and the ability to turn that imagination into something that will steal its way into your soul (and then probably harvest it).
Highly recommended (and that’s from someone who doesn’t really like the short story format).
C. J. Tudor’s love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert. Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author. C. J. Tudor’s first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and sold in over forty countries. Her second novel, The Taking of Annie Thorne, was also a Sunday Times bestseller as was her third novel, The Other People. All three books are in development for TV. Her fourth novel, The Burning Girls, was a Richard and Judy Book Club selection and has been adapted for television by award-winning screenwriter Hans Rosenfeldt (creator of The Bridge and Marcella). It will debut on Paramount Plus in 2023. The Drift is her fifth novel and has also been optioned for the screen. C.J. Tudor is also the author of A Sliver of Darkness, a collection of short stories. She lives in Sussex with her family.