I love horror but for some reason I don’t usually have a lot of luck where horror anthologies are concerned. Thankfully this was one of the better ones I’ve read.
My favourite story was by Kelley Armstrong. As has been the case with this series, one story takes up about half of the book; this time it’s Lee Thomas’ Torn.
Invitation to the Game by Kelley Armstrong – 😱😱😱😱
When you’re offered a promotion at this company you receive an invitation to the Game. Only no one knows what the Game entails until it’s their turn to play.
“It’s an honour, right? We have to remember that.”
Summer of ‘77 by Stewart O’Nan – 😱😱😱😱
There’s more than fun in the sun at the lake this summer. This peek into the world of a predator could make you second guess helping anyone again.
I didn’t really need the mask; it was more for them.
The Dead Years by Taylor Grant – 😱😱😱
Emma’s been gone for years. Now he’s found Emma’s doppelgänger. But Margot’s definitely not Emma.
“Today’s monstrosity is tomorrow’s masterpiece.”
The Blackout by Jonathan Moore – 😱😱😱
A body goes missing from the morgue during a storm.
“Before the lights went out, everything in there was fine.”
Variations on a Theme from Seinfeld by Peter Straub – 😱😱😱
Clyde’s reflection has gone missing. Again.
The image before him in the mirror’s rectangular surface depicted an unusually ordered bathroom empty of humanity, especially as represented by himself.
Torn by Lee Thomas – 😱😱😱😱
The search for a missing child is only the beginning of this story.
How do you go on when something like that happens to your child?
Content warnings include addiction, death by suicide, sexual assault and suicidal ideation.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Hydra, an imprint of Random House Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
Kelley Armstrong, Stewart O’Nan, Taylor Grant, Jonathan Moore, Peter Straub, and Lee Thomas weave six hair-raising yarns proving that appearances can be deceiving – and deadly – in this horror anthology assembled by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar.
INVITATION TO THE GAME by Kelley Armstrong
Vivienne dreams of moving up in the company, and now she’s got her chance. All the company asks in return is that she prove her absolute devotion by playing a simple, silly little game.
SUMMER OF ’77 by Stewart O’Nan
Suntanned and bleached blond, the boys and girls of summer never expect anything to interrupt their carefree days. They never see me coming until it’s too late.
THE DEAD YEARS by Taylor Grant
Emma was the great love of his life, even after she vanished. So when she reappears at a cocktail party fifteen years later, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her from slipping away again.
THE BLACKOUT by Jonathan Moore
When a body goes missing from the morgue, Detective Nakahara is called in to investigate. Despite the storm, it should be a simple case. After all, a dead body can’t just walk out on its own … right?
VARIATIONS ON A THEME FROM SEINFELD by Peter Straub
At six years old, Clyde noticed that his reflection decided not to show up in the mirror. Whenever it happens, he just needs to go through the mirror and fetch him. The trick is making it back.
TORN by Lee Thomas
Luther’s Bend is the kind of place where bad things just aren’t supposed to happen, but even the sleepiest towns have secrets … and the full moon can bring retribution for all manners of sins.