By Richard Gavin
Published by Mythos Books
ISBN 0-9789911-2-5 $30

It was with great surprise and pleasure when this reviewer opened the packet through the post containing this book arrived. This collection of twelve tales, the majority of which are unique to this volume, is the second collection of short fiction written by Richard Gavin, whose previously published collection Charnel Wine, from Rainfall books several years ago introduced this reviewer to this astounding and extremely talented author.

Comparing this, with his previous volume, Gavin has come along in leaps and bounds. A much darker, and more deftly woven collection of fiction than his last. The strength of his talent and skill cutting swathes through your psyche.

Yet again, Richard Gavin is not confined by location or situation. His fiction oozes clarity and imagination. His characters each and every one, bold and defined in your imagination at the events they either become embroiled in or create through their own inate stupidity or misadventure. Gavin has obviously taken his time with his art. It is not labored, or strained. The prose seeps off the pages and into your imagination like nutrients drip fed to a dying patient and tantalizes you with it’s hints of more to come. As they materialize into events so shocking, your breath catches in your throat as you finally realize where he has been leading you, slowly, ever so surely, but ultimately to that place that only Gavin can go safely, and you the reader must tread carefully into and through without being marked forever. If you’re lucky…

Not one story in this collection left this reviewer feeling cheated. Not one story failed to live up to the promise delivered by the very first paragraph of each. Sheer wonderment with every one.

I said in the past that his fiction was at times Lovecraftian, often Poe-like, but with this collection, Gavin has firmly established himself as the new master of weird and gothic horror. The classic and historically chilling ghost stories of the past have met their match this time with this new collection. Gavin sweeps away his influences and peers with one lightning sweep of the scythe that his pen wreaks with every word committed to paper.

– Reviewed by Kevin Etheridge


~ by darkdiscoveries on May 20, 2009.

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