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on 17 March 2013
This review is based on a PDF ARC.

Joel Lane's Where Furnaces Burn caught my attention a couple of months ago when I was looking for new and interesting dark fantasy and horror short story collections to read. A friend of mine most warmly recommended this collection to me, because he knew that I'm a big fan of well written dark fantasy and horror fiction, so I decided to read and review it. I'm glad that I had a chance to review this collection, because it turned out to be an excellent collection.

Where Furnaces Burn contains the following short stories:
- My Stone Desire
- Still Water
- Morning's Echo
- The Hostess
- Blue Smoke
- Beth's Law
- A Cup of Blood
- Even the Pawn
- A Mouth to Feed
- Quarantine
- Black Country
- Without a Mind
- The Sunken City
- Incry
- The Last Witness
- Dreams of Children
- Waiting for the Thaw
- Stiff as Toys
- The Victim Card
- Winter Journey
- Slow Burn
- The Receivers
- Wake Up in Moloch
- Point of Departure
- Blind Circles
- Facing the Wall

Where Furnaces Burn is one of those short story collections, which will charm you with their weirdness and originality. These stories are weird, intriguing and horrifying.

I like Joel Lane's prose and writing style very much. He fluently combines occult detective fiction, noir fiction, sensuality, gothic fiction, dark fantasy and horror to create dark fantasy and noir flavoured speculative fiction. The author balances nicely between noir and fantastical elements, using both to his advantage.

It's easy to see that classic horror and noir stories have inspired Joel Lane, because he writes stories in which the happenings develop gradually and end in a perfectly satisfying way. His prose punctuates the terrifying happenings and horrifies the reader in an unsettling way (he lures the reader into a macabre world by writing about small details with shockingly effective and beautiful phrases).

What I like most about these stories is that the author writes about urban decay and macabre things in a fresh and disturbing way. In my opinion the bleak and gloomy settings create a haunting atmosphere to his stories.

The characters and their fates are interesting, because the author writes in the first person narrative style. It adds depth and style to these stories.

The cover art image (Wednesbury by Night in the 19th Century, unknown artist, courtesy of Ironbridge Gorge Museum) looks beautiful. It's a perfect cover art image for this collection, because it sets the right mood for the reader.

Because Joel Lane is a good author and I liked this collection very much, I intend to read more of his stories. In my opinion this collection belongs to the bookshelf of every reader who's ever been interested in horror and mystery stories.

Highly recommended to fans of dark fantasy and horror short stories!
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