Saturday, March 24, 2018

Nightmares from the Black Hill by Guy N. Smith

This 2017 compilation of short stories is a treasure trove for all of us Guy Smith fans. Collecting 18 tales originally published between 1972 and 1982 in the London Mystery Selection magazine, these tales all demonstrate Smith’s mastery of the short form. Spanning a few pages each, the stories pack a jaw-breaking wallop and are thick with stark images, plot twists, pure horror, tingling suspense, and other ingredients that make this a cauldron of Witching Hour delights. This is a book you might consider reading on Halloween night, with the door locked and the windows shuttered. Try and finish it before the clock strikes midnight! This book is a showcase for Smith’s talent; the quality of his prose is evident in each paragraph, a fact that is lost on critics who foolishly dismiss Smith as simply a writer of horror novels. Think of these as “Tall Tales” told swiftly, with fresh, lively prose and unforgettable characters, Guy N. Smith’s blazing, prolific talent fairly jumps off the page. This is my favorite of the author’s compilations, and includes such stand-out tales as “The Mummy,” “Morpheus Inferno,” “It,” (before Stephen King used that title), “Island of the Zombies,” and “Murder House.” Stories like “The Splodge,” and “Borrowed Time” will keep you awake at night. Creepy, solidly written by a craftsman, and evoking a midnight mood on the fog-shrouded hills near his home in Shropshire, Nightmares from the Black Hill is a reader’s choice for fans of entertaining fiction. Not to be missed!

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