Hilary Davidson (The Damage Done) has launched a short story collection that takes readers into dark recesses of the human experience. These nine, compact stories of mystery and suspense are infused with unexpected irony and a chilling sense of the macabre.
"People never know what they're capable of until they're in a terrible situation. That's when your true character comes out," says one of the protagonists in the headline story, "The Black Widow Club," which unravels revelations of wives, mothers, daughters and the men they love and those who love them back? Or do they?
Each story in the collection packs a wallop, oftentimes in the first line, sometimes by the last. In each instance, characters are put to the test, facing challenges and "terrible situations."
Peru is the setting for "Stepmonster," where a former model, the jilted ex-wife of a plastic surgeon—whom she now refers to as "Dr. Frankenboobs"—goes to a resort for some r&r. But when she gets to her destination, she finds that the woman who poached her husband and children, is vacationing at the very same hotel. Coincidence?
"Undying Love" is plotted in reverse. It is an off-beat story narrated by a deceased protagonist who slowly learns the mysterious circumstances of what brought him to the other side via Bart, a spirit guide who tends to hum the theme from the movie Ghostbusters amid their journey because he "died in 1984 and that song stuck in (his) head."
Other stories deal with the haunted nature of the past; the perils of modern romance and marriage; role playing; revenge; obsessions; skewed family values; children conning parents—and vice-versa.
Strong narrative voices and tight story lines underscore each tale, which reflects the decadent, often sinister nature of the modern world.
Beast Books, $2.99 , e-book, ASIN: B00E3GZW6E
Publication Date: July 21, 2013