“Suspended In Dusk – Edited by Simon Dewar” Review

Posted: October 19, 2014 in Reviews, Uncategorized
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Publisher: Books of the Dead Press

Length: 293 Pages

Review copy provided by the editor in exchange for an honest review

Fall is finally here and it is my favorite season of all. I mean, I run a site called The Horror Bookshelf, so naturally October and Halloween are my favorite times of the year. Lately, I have been reading a lot of dark fiction anthologies, which make for perfect Halloween reading. My most recent review was for The New Black, a stellar anthology edited by Richard Thomas and longtime readers already know about my love of the anthologies published by Grey Matter Press. I am fairly new to the world of anthologies, but it seems like the format is becoming increasingly popular lately. Tons of new anthologies and collections are making their rise in the horror genre and television anthology series’ like American Horror Story and True Detective are generating a lot of discussion among viewers.

I was excited to dive right into Suspended In Dusk, an anthology edited by Simon Dewar, after seeing the creepy cover and seeing that the introduction was written by the legendary Jack Ketchum. Suspended In Dusk features 19 stories from some incredibly talented horror writers and is loosely themed around dusk, a time where daylight fades into night and where the evils lurking in the shadows are finally unleashed. Dewar has collected a pretty diverse selection of stories for Suspended In Dusk, so there is a little bit of everything contained within its pages that will appeal to horror fans. Every reader is sure to have their own list of favorites, as all of the stories are highly entertaining and well-written, but the following stories were the ones that captured my imagination right off the bat.

“Taming The Stars” by Anna Reith is a beautifully written story that follows the paths of Michele, a man who is thrust into a shady job by his friend Antoine and Esther, a woman with a dark secret. Their two seemingly separate paths finally converge in a blood-filled encounter at the gangster Radouane’s house and their lives are never the same.

“At Dusk They Come” by Armand Rosamilia is a dark tale that really stuck with me due to the choice of setting. I have lived in small towns . THe story opens with mysterious, dark figures that seem ripped straight from the stuff nightmares are made of. Glowing eyes and armed with sharp claws, these beings emerge from the woods with dark intentions and strike a deal with the narrator – offer up your neighbors and your family lives.

“Digging Deep”, a story from British horror master Ramsey Campbell, is a frightening tale of a man who realizes has greatest fear has come true – he has been buried alive. Campbell’s story perfectly captures the desperation and claustrophobic nature of a very terrifying scenario that will keep you flipping through the pages until you reach the story’s utterly chilling conclusion.

Rayne Hall’s “Burning” stood out to me because it was one of the few stories that didn’t focus on the unknown or supernatural, but rather the darkness that dwells in the hearts of every day people.

Karen Runge’s “Hope Is Here” follows Gary, a homeless man hears rumors of a sanctuary for those living on the street run by The Sunshine Group. They supposedly offer clean showers and hot meals in exchange for filling out a simple questionnaire that will help them assist homeless people in getting off the streets and rehabilitating their lives. Gary quickly learns that this supposedly “no strings attached” offer of assistance is too good to be true.

I am a huge fan of post-apocalyptic stories and Suspended In Dusk has a few excellent entries that cover that theme extremely well. Angela Slatter’s “The Way of All Flesh” is a chilling story that focuses on a small town in the aftermath of. Sweet Bobby Tate is a predator who comes to Wolf’s Briar, West Virginia in search of victims in order to combat his hunger. Sweet Bobby Tate thinks he has hit the jackpot when he stumbles across the home of sixteen-year-old Annabel Adams, but realizes much too late that he may be in over his head. This story seems to take place in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak, but the story focuses instead on how the events have changed everyday people and the lengths they must go to survive.

J.C. Michael’s “Reasons To Kill” follows a band of survivors who have built a small community and have been surviving in relative comfort until a stranger moves into the community. The stranger is a bit of a recluse and makes the townspeople uneasy, but they decide to leave him in peace since he is not bothering anyone. However, when children go missing, the leaders within the community begin to suspect their newest resident is hiding something. The group starts to become unhinged when they argue over how to handle the situation and when they finally decide to investigate the newcomer’s home, they make a series of horrifying discoveries that forever alters their community.

I loved Suspended In Dusk because while some of the authors that appear in the anthology are familiar to me, I was also treated to some new writers who I had never heard before. I think there is no better feeling than discovering new authors that capture everything you love in a story and Dewar’s stellar anthology offers up plenty of those opportunities to horror fans. This is Dewar’s first entry into the anthology world and I think he nailed it. He brought together an impressive cast of authors and crafted one hell of an anthology despite numerous setbacks along the path to publication. I will definitely be looking forward to Dewar’s work in the future, both as an editor and an author. I highly recommend picking up Suspended In Dusk and giving it a read!

Rating: 4.5/5


Books of the Dead Press’ Official Website

Purchase Suspended In Dusk on Amazon 

  1. J C Michael says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed my contribution, as I was a little worried how I would stack up against the more established authors involved.

    Simon did a great job pulling this together. Once he’s taken a well earned break I hope he, and Books of the Dead Press, follow this up with another collection.

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