Volume 3 and still going strong,
This review is from: The Third Black Book of Horror (Paperback)With a nicely done role reversal cover, although the male Satanist would normally wear a robe; Charles Black's third Black Book collection comes in at 221 pages containing 17 stories, and includes some outstanding tales a few of which I will definitely be reading again.
The stories are as follows
The Scavenger (Rog Pile) - a nice opener, as a priest, apparently in fear for his life invites a psychic to give him a tarot reading. Reminiscent of M R James' Casting The Runes.
Takashi's Last Symphony (Gary McMahon) - a conceptual artist shows his neighbour his new creation, which looks very familiar to him,
A Sense of Movement (David A. Riley) - a man is drawn towards an abandoned house that is due for demolition. He learns it was once the home of an infamous occultist.
Last Night (Joel Lane) - a serial killer, well written but sadly this tale did not work for me.
Widow's Weeds (Paul Newman) - an ancient Indonesian curse and a dark ending.
Out of Her Head (Christine Mortimer) - very short, black humour of the icky sort.
Family Ties (Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis) - one of the best tales here. An apocalyptic tale with the dead having returned to life and a pregnant woman alone on an island, her husband having gone for help. Had a real sense of deja vu reading this tale.
Death-Con 1 (Sean Parker) - another darkly humorous tale of a killer going to a fantasy convention.
Like a Bird (Mike Chinn) - really odd, a photographer on assignment in the Azores meets a beautiful woman and what is it about those birds?
The Spoon (John Mains) - great, short and straight to the point and very funny, starring Uri Geller.
The Lake (Franklin Marsh) - a man looking to end his affair takes his lover for a picnic to a lake which has a dark history. Lots of twists here.
Synchronicity (Craig Herbertson) - a school reunion in a restaurant brings back memories, a dark Roald Dahl type story.
In The Thicket (Paul Finch) - like an M R James tale, a priest and his troublesome nephew go to stay at a friends house whilst investigating a local Saxon burial site hidden within a thicket
John & Jenny and The Lump: a Cautionary Tale (John Llewellyn Probert) - snother short darkly humorous tale, written in the style of a children's TV presenter.
An Old Overcoat (Frank Nicholas) - what !!!! I've read this twice and am still not sure what was going on but I love it. A really original tale involving a pickpocket and.. well, just read it.
The Looker (Julia Lufford) - a pick up in a night club, the reversal of a tale in the second volume.
What We Cannot Recall (Gary Fry) - a young boy is sent to stay with his Nan in the country during the WWII bombings of Coventry. You will guess the ending but it is pretty effective and again it is original.
Just one or two weak spots here but overall a great read with some outstanding tales including Famly Ties, In the Thicket and the extremely odd "An Old Overcoat" which is my favourite.
Nice one Charles.