Dark Screams Volume One - Edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar

Release Date - December 2014

Stephen King
Kelley Armstrong
Bill Pronzini
Simon Clark
Ramsey Campbell
Random House

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

The stories within Dark Screams Volume One may not be new to you at all. The first story in this anthology, Weeds by Stephen King, is well-known, whether it's from the 1970's release or from the movie Creepshow (one of my favorite '80's movies.) In this story, the rather dimwitted Jordy Verrill burns his hand on a meteorite that lands on his land, and he's about to learn that not everything in nature is all that nice.

Kelley Armstrong, author of bestsellers that includes the books in the very popular Darkest Power series, offers The Price You Pay. In this creepy little gem, loving mother Kara reunites with her former high school friend Ingrid. After a girl's night out, Ingrid's car stalls on a dark road and the pair are kidnapped by a sadistic madman who knows way too much about their past transgressions.

Bill Pronzini, author of many private eye novels, is next with Magic Eyes. Accountant Edward James Tolliver is in a mental institution for having murdered his wife. Only he knows the truth about the creature that caused his wife's death, and if he tells anyone, they'll never believe him.

Simon Clark's Murder in Chains details the story of John York, a man who is hired to photograph the city of Leeds at night. He never imagines that job will lead to him waking up chained by the neck to a gigantic murdering manbeast.

Finally, Ramsey Campbell, a British horror novelist who always had a treasured place on my mom's bookshelves,  offers The Watched. In this short story, while living with his grandmother, a teen is asked by a cop to listen to the people in the neighboring house. This alleged family of drug dealers are the on the cop's list, and the consequences could be deadly.

This is not a long book. With just five short stories, you'll have them finished in little time. Each is creepy and certainly offers an exceptional look at the different faces of horror. From the absurd to the "could have been a story in the news headlines," Dark Screams Volume One will not disappoint.


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