It's Women in Horror Month! So far the only horror I've been able to squeeze in is Susie Moloney's collection Things Withered, which was released in December by ChiZine. Honestly, though, if it's the only horror I get in in February at least it was the good stuff!
Having read Moloney's The Thirteen, it probably shouldn't have come as a surprise that her collection is fairly suburban focused. These tales make you wonder how well you know your neighbors, your friends, and even your family. Even knowing that, you'll find Moloney is particularly adept at surprising you - just when you think you know what to expect, she's guaranteed to turn the story on its head.
In "The Windemere" a realtor makes a startling discovery about her new neighbors. In "Wife" a woman tries desperately to hide her true nature from her husband. For a mother and her son, a weekend outing becomes deadly in "Petty Zoo." One man drives himself mad with fear of death in "Poor David, or, The Possibility of Coincidence in Situations of Multiple Occurrences." And anyone whose experienced it will sympathize with the poor girl in "The Audit."
With these tales and more, Moloney explores the ultimate fears and potential darkness that live behind closed doors - or even within us all!
A few of my personal favorites include:
"The Windemere," is the perfect start to the collection, setting an overall excellent tone. But it's the end of this story that really proved to be the so called cherry on top.
"The Last Living Summer," a little glimpse of the end of the world maybe?
"Reclamation on the Forest Floor," a dark gem of a tale that takes friendly rivalry to the next level.
"The Neighborhood, or, To the Devil With You," because evil isn't always what you expect it to be.