This is a collection of short stories from Samantha Hunt and one that I’ve been avoiding because I was worried it was going to be another delving into the kinds of modern fairy tale stories that I end up always wanting to the read but never really enjoy much.
I think I can be forgiven for thinking that’s what we were going to have here, because of how many of those that have been published in recent years.
Anyway, instead, most of these stories are realistic fiction with heightened contrasts that allow for the scary and dark and terrifying parts of reality as we know it to horror stories.
The stories then are a blend of lots of different genres and sometimes very familiar stories — such as a retelling of the capture of the Unibomber as a conversion story more than a police mission. There’s an element to a lot of these stories where we are taken right the edge of everything and we’re pulled back from it becoming too licit or too real. So the end result here, compared to plenty of the other examples of collections I am thinking of but not naming, is a greater sense of control and purpose.
Ultimately, these still aren’t my favorite kinds of stories, but there’s a real competency here, and the best of the stories are pretty good. And like plenty of story collections there’s a few forgettable ones mixed in.