It’s a cool thing when a writer you think you know can surprise you. It’s a cooler thing when a writer who’s also a friend blindsides you with the sheer originality of their work. This is the case with Secret Things: 12 Tales to Terrify, a collection of short stories by my friend and terror temptress, Stacey Longo. I thought I was getting jaded by the shear amount of “horror fiction’ I have been reading and reviewing lately. I thought I had kind of seen and read it all. I thought there wasn’t much left to surprise me. I was wrong.
From the outset this anthology takes you into the minds of the wretched, the broken heart of the soon-to-be-married, the vile anger of the unhealthily self-centered, and many more places that this genre has really never taken me before. Which brings me to the issue I have with reviewing this: how much do I give away, how much terror do I keep under the blanket as I read it with a flashlight?
So, here’s my response: The stories run from surprisingly sweet to outlandishly fiendish but the one thing they have in common is Stacey’s uncompromising style for engaging the reader and pushing them into places they would never wander into on their own, bringing you the nasty woman everyone wished was dead, an attempt to murder a clairvoyant and a woman communing with her dead first love on her wedding day.
For what it’s worth, in a genre suffering from extreme over-saturation, the writer needs to do something special to get noticed and rise above the common. This, dear readers, is it. This is a DO NOT MISS book by an amazing writer.
For the purposes of full disclosure, this book was a review copy sent to SFSN. No other remuneration was given or implied.