The Occult Files of Albert Taylor

By Derek Muk

Impact Books

ISBN: 978-1449541958

2010; $14.95 

Though all of Derek Muk’s eleven stories (nine reprints and two first publications) in this anthology are all supernatural in theme, and all have the same protagonist, an anthropology professor named Albert Taylor, they are each unique enough not only to keep you interested, but also intrigued until the last word. Each story is presented as a different case study from Taylor’s files, and the topics of these files touch on all the popular issues that you’d expect to find in an occult collection.

They range from a story about vampires on the Hawaiian Islands (“Competition”) to a couple about UFO’s and ET’s in Northern California (“Sun Disc” and “Ghost Town”). Most of the stories are pretty straight forward, search-and-find, investigative style tales and are prone to spoilers so I don’t want to say too much about any particular one. But I will say that “Footprints” and “Dear Boss,” stories about Bigfoot and Jack the Ripper, respectively, were two of my personal favorites because of their surprise endings. And “The Exhibit,” which pits Taylor’s investigative skills against fifteenth century Spanish inquisitor Tomas de Torquemada, was also a very fun and exciting read.

Unlike other authors of the occult genre, Muk will not bore you with lengthy descriptions of scientific research or quirky gadget lingo. These stories are strictly about people and the fear of the unknown, which makes them easy to relate to and enjoy. Fans of shows like “The X-Files,” “Twilight Zone,” and “Fringe” will find this anthology especially appealing.

– Reviewed by Jeremy Hepler

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~ by darkdiscoveries on May 10, 2010.

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