Book Review: Suspended in Dusk by Simon Dewar

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23204395Title: Suspended in Dusk

Author: Simon Dewar (Editor)

Genre: Horror, Anthology, Dark Fiction

Age Group: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

DUSK
A time between times.

A whore hides something monstrous and finds something special.
A homeless man discovers the razor blade inside the apple.
Unlikely love is found in the strangest of places.
Secrets and dreams are kept… forever.

Or was it all just a trick of the light?

Suspended in Dusk brings together 19 stories by some of the finest minds in Dark Fiction:

Ramsey Campbell, John Everson, Rayne Hall, Shane McKenzie, Angela Slatter, Alan Baxter, S.G Larner, Wendy Hammer, Sarah Read, Karen Runge, Toby Bennett, Benjamin Knox, Brett Rex Bruton, Icy Sedgwick, Tom Dullemond, Armand Rosamilia, Chris Limb, Anna Reith, J.C. Michael.

Introduction by Bram Stoker Award Winner and World Horror Convention Grand Master, Jack Ketchum.

Suspended in Dusk is a quality anthology of dark fiction and horror stories, all of them centered around dusk. The anthology hides some gems and some mediocre stories, and they strike a good balance.

“Shadows of the Lonely Dead” starts off the collection, a story about a woman who takes in the death of all the people around her and the elderly she takes care off. An intriguing concept, and the other develops it nicely, although it packs a little much for a short story, especially with the storyline of the boyfriend thrown in. 4 stars.

The next story, “Taming the Stars” focused on two protagonists, Michele and Esther, and it had some twists I did not see coming. I found Esther especially intriguing. This was one of my favorite stories of the anthology.  4 stars.

“At Dusk They Come” was another favorite. Strange creatures appear at dusk, and leave a man with a terrifying choice. Some cool twists, and although I figured out most of them before they happened, it was still entertaining. 4 stars.

“A Woman of Disrepute” had a Jack the Ripper-like feel to it mixed with some Dorian Gray since it also focused on artists and painters. An interesting story, but not on of my favorites. It wasn’t really as creepy as I’d hoped. 3 stars.

Next up, “Burning”. I wasn’t sure what to think of that one. It showed the horrible side of humanity, but it didn’t really scare me. 3 stars.

“Ministry of Outrage” was another good one, an original, interesting concept and the execution worked well too. The ending didn’t come as a surprise, though. 4 stars.

I liked “Maid of Bone”. The protagonist was so tragic, and the scenes of her visiting the graveyard were haunting and atmospheric.  4 stars.

“Shades of Memory” wasn’t a favorite of mine. I didn’t mind the concept, which was good overall, as was the setting, but the protagonist bothered me and his choice at the end just wasn’t believable to me. 2,5 stars

“Reasons to Kill” gave an interesting spin to the whole zombie/vampire lore in a post-apocalyptic world. Loved this one. 5 stars.

“Digging Deep” is one of my favorite premature burying stories I’ve ever read – the author does an amazing job describing the main character’s panic, and the ending was just wow. The writing was excellent, and this was my favorite story from the collection. Stories about premature burials have been attempted by hundreds of authors, but it’s tricky to pull it off in a believable way. 5 stars.

“Outside In”. I didn’t like this one. I didn’t finish reading it either, the whole mixed up order of chapters confused me and I couldn’t connect to any of the characters. DNF.

“Hope is Here”. Loved this concept, unfortunately I saw the ending coming from miles away, and I kept on wondering how Many would be involved. A little dissapointing that she wasn’t then. 3 stars.

“Would to God That We Were There”. A story set in outerspace is always interesting, and I felt the protagonist’s fear and insanity seeping through the pages. 3,5 stars.

“Negatives”. I want to see this one as a book. I loved it, an amazing story about twin sisters and an abandoned theme park. I’d love to visit an abandoned theme parks, and this made me only slightly scared to visit one, hehe. 5 stars.

“Fit Camp”, also known as “Fat Camp” and the scary things that happen there. An entertaining story but not genuinely scary. 3 stars.

“Quarter Turn to Dawn” was an all right story, but I struggled to get into it. 2 stars.

“A Keeper of Secrets” was another winner for me. I liked the concept of a keeper of secrets stuck on attic. The ending was thrilling and horrifying at the same time. 5 stars.

“Spirits Having Flown”. This book deserves to be a full-length novel too. A good concept, well-executed, and great writing. 4 stars.

“The Way of All Flesh” had an interesting spin. Didn’t expect that one. 4 stars.

So all in all, I enjoyed most of the stories in this collection, some of them were amazing. I’ll definitely be on the look out for more anthologies put together by this editor.

 

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