By: Various Authors
Publication Date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: April 2014
Big cats are predators that have not been seen in the east woods for decades as people have settled the wilderness around them. However, when Pru Marlowe is led to a mauled body by a service dog named Spot that she is training, it appears as if nothing but a big cat could be the cause of death. Knowing that her connection and comprehension of the thoughts of animals could be the only thing that allows this case to be solved, Pru finds herself cracking a case that she did not even mean to get involved with. Trusting Spot’s instincts and acute senses, Pru works to decipher exactly what this dog is trying to tell her and sort out the clues that will help solve this mystery. Along with Spot’s help Pru also seeks council from her cat Wallis, who always has something smart to say and does not mind letting her opinion be known. Even though Wallis is a much smaller cat than the one possibly running loose in the woods, her predator instincts may be just the clue Pru needs if she pays close enough attention to realize it.
Six different authors, six very different plots, six short stories that will make you go ‘eek!’ as you quickly turn that last page. If you’re a fan of horror, then you should definitely check out Scary Story.
Each story in this anthology is fairly brief and at 93 pages for the whole book, you can probably read it all in one sitting. The time will pass quickly as you try to guess what is about to happen and it was all the more fun because not one author gave away the ending before that last page. What exactly was hiding in the house up on the hill, the house that nobody dare visit? Were those really zombies from down the street? Are they coming after her?
The only thing these tales share with each other is the horror genre; otherwise they are completely different in writing styles, plots, and the way the reader reacts to the conclusion. In brief, here are the stories:
Last Dawn – The street has gone quiet, the phone is dead, and something (or someone) is scratching at the door. A mother tries to protect her sleeping children from whatever is coming...
Paradise – A group of people are two miles below the ground, in a cavern with black coal dust. They are about to have a séance to find out what happened to so many of the townsfolk. The answer is not what they were expecting.
Fire of Faith – A new bride agrees to help her husband with an experiment that might help mankind survive the all-encompassing fire that he thinks will strike. Her absolute trust in him is not a good idea...
The Path of Dead Roses – A young girl doesn’t think her house is haunted, but when things start happening to her beloved rose bushes, she starts thinking that perhaps ‘something’ is outside the house every night.
Christmas Story: Silent Night – Emma can’t wait for the school Christmas pageant and when her excitement gets the best of her and she’s punished by her mother, the punishment is definitely worse than the crime!
The Wrinkled Duplex Halfway Up the Hill – All sorts of rumors are floating around about Mr. Rumple, who lives in a dilapidated house that is overgrown with weeds. Does he have a wife? What does he do all day? Only Eldon, a utility worker, is brave enough to explore the house, but he really should have stayed away!
Some of these stories are truly scary, others are more thought-provoking. I did not predict the ending to “Paradise” and it still haunts me. “Christmas Story” while not frightening in the traditional sense, will undoubtedly make you gasp or cringe, and following Eldon up the hill to the “Wrinkled Duplex” will find you shouting “No! Don’t do it!” With six different authors, the writing varied greatly. Some of the writers are truly talented, a few are still rough around the edges but all showed a talent for thinking up short stories that will grab the reader.
Quill says: Whether you prefer zombies or old houses with something hiding behind the creaky door, if you like to be scared, check out Scary Story. Just don’t turn off the lights!
To learn more about Scary Story: An Anthology, please visit the publisher's website at kystory.net