What Gets Left Behind: first thoughts

What Gets Left Behind cover image

What Gets Left Behind by Mark West, the latest chapbook from Spectral Press, gets its first review, and it also continues the tradition of Jim McLeod being amongst the first to air his reviews on Spectral output. Mark’s tale is very much grounded in the everyday reality of a specific time and place, yet the concerns of the main protagonist Mike are very universal and will be familiar to all. To read what Jim thought about What Gets Left Behind please go here.

The Respectable Face of Tyranny cover image

We also have another review for you to read, but this time the focus is Gary Fry’s Spectral Visions novella The Respectable Face of Tyranny, which (with the kind permission of Graeme Reynolds, who wrote it and uploaded it to GoodReads) we reproduce in full below:

“Spectral Press are fast becoming major players in the world of horror fiction. Their limited edition chapbooks are beautifully presented collectors editions, containing stories that disturb and challenge the readers perceptions in equal measure. It was with a fair amount of excitement that I started reading their first novella length work – The Respectable Face of Tyranny by Gary Fry.

Josh is struggling to cope with his life. The economic downturn led to him losing his high paying job, his expensive home and his wife. To try and get himself back on his feet he moves into a caravan near Whitby with his teenage daughter, where he spends his time caring for his ailing mother and walking through the surrounding countryside, to try and make some sense of where his life went wrong. Before long he starts to see apparitions above the bay at night, and comes across strange carvings on the beach. Is he catching a glimpse of something ancient and terrifying, or have his recent troubles brought on the same dementia that claimed his invalid mother?

This is a very introspective piece of work. Gary Fry is quite obviously very familiar with Whitby and the surrounding area, and describes not only the town and its surroundings, but the people that live there in a level of detail that was quite astonishing. I’m not sure if I can remember reading anything recently that evoked such clear mental images for me. Similarly, the characters of Josh and Sally, his daughter, are beautifully drawn, to the extent that they were very real to me right from the start. Against this vivid backdrop, the insidious cosmic horrors that Josh has to contend with also become very real.

The Respectable Face of Tyranny is a slow paced and measured novella, that takes its time in painting a vivid picture and building the terror of both the creatures that Josh encounters and his own fear of losing his mind.

Very highly recommended for those that want something a little deeper and disturbing than the average horror story.

4 out of 5 stars.”

More reviews soon!

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