Cold Comforts by Marianne Halbert
Reviewed by S.J. Budd
Haunted objects. Haunted places. Haunted people.
Creatures otherworldly and places where looming shadows bring dread to your door.
A school bus stops at the home of an isolated family whose unusual children have a unique way to scare off their enemies.
A vacationing couple discovers something deeper than their love resides within wine country.
Objects in the attic of an old farmhouse come to life seeking retribution.
A peculiar girl discovers she has a strange ability.
These thirteen tales will take you from the farms and woods of the heartland, to prison and the south of France. Whether you’re crunching through the snow wondering what’s moving behind you, or sitting by a campfire listening to a tale of revenge, pull a blanket tight around your shoulders and be prepared for an impending chill to race down your spine.
All you’ll find are cold comforts here.
This is an author that just popped out of nowhere and now I’m completely hooked! This is her second collection of short stories; the first is Wake Up and Smell the Creepy.
My favourite tale has to be Papa’s Wrench and the Wind Chimes, it’s up there with Adam Nevill’s ability to completely terrify his readers and leave them traumatised. It starts off innocently enough with a young child going to school on the school bus but descends into some really dark waters with the Monstrum Kids climb on board. This tale is a perfect example of quiet horror exploding into an amazing finale.
When Betsy Whispers – an amazing tale to start off the collection. Probably one of the most original tales I have ever read, it is truly disturbing and thought provoking with a very unusual protagonist. When I finished this tale I knew this was going to be an amazing anthology.
Housing the Hollygobs starts off a sweet tale about remembering loved ones and silly family traditions soon turning into something much darker. The ending is brilliant!
Another firm favourite is Luxor Decanted and its superb use of imagery. A happily married couple embark to Paris for their once in a lifetime dream vacation. Years in the planning they have finally made it to soak up the arts and culture of one of Europe’s finest capitals. The husband becomes drawn to an Obelisk near the Louvre, fascination soon turns to obsession.
Check it out!
About S.J. Budd
S.J.Budd is a dark fiction author and HWA member from Cornwall. Her work has appeared in The No Sleep Podcast, Aphotic Realm, Sanitarium Magazine, Siren’s Call Publications, Deadman’s Tome, Innersins, Aphelion, Bewildering Stories, Blood Moon Rising Magazine, Shadows at the Door and Danse Macabre Magazine, The Wild Hunt, Morpheus Tales and Freedom Fiction.
She spends far too much time on twitter @sjbuddj. You can find out more about her stories at www.sjbudd.co.uk