Today it is my great pleasure to bring you details of the short story anthology, Afraid of the Light, from a fabulous collection of crime writers who are teaming up to raise money for a very good cause. With a foreword by Alex North, all of the authors’ royalties will go to the Samaritans. Mental health is an issue that touches all of us at some point, and is especially crucial in these strangest of days we’re delighted to be able to support them.
My thanks to Jo Furniss and Dominic Nolan for inviting us to read the book and providing the early copy for review. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
Some people are scared of the dark. But it’s the light that exposes the secrets.
A young boy with nightmares faces up to his demons. A deathbed confession turns the world on its axis. A five-year-old watches his parents bury a body in the garden. A soldier returns from the war to find the horror isn’t yet over.
Afraid Of The Light brings the imagination of fourteen bestselling crime writers together in a collection that will keep you up all night. From a deadly campfire game to a holiday gone wrong, to an AI assistant with a motive and a love affair that can only end in murder, this is a gripping, twisty set of stories to send a shiver down your spine.
“The stories are wildly entertaining in their own right, but they also address the concerns and fears we all feel: isolation and loneliness; guilt and grief; justice and punishment. And perhaps most importantly of all: redemption and hope.” — Alex North
Featuring: Are you Listening? – Adam Southward; Daddy Dearest – Dominic Nolan; Deathbed, Beth Dead – Elle Croft; Loveable Alan Atcliffe – S R Masters; Sleep Time – Phoebe Morgan; Coming Home – N J Mackay; Sausage Fingers – Victoria Selman; Just a Game – Rachael Blok; Drowning in Debt – Heather Critchlow; To Evil or Not to Evil – Jo Furniss; Sheep’s Clothing – Robert Scragg; Frantic – Clare Empson; Planting Nan – James Delargy; Shadow – Kate Simants
All author royalties from the sale of this anthology will be donated to the Samaritans.
I love reading anthologies as they a great way to get a flavour of a group of different authors that you may not have read before. Add in the fact that this one is to support the Samaritans in a time when a lot of people are struggling and it’s a win win in my eyes. When Jen emailed me to say she had agreed for us to do a joint review I was more than happy to drop everything and get reading, in fact I was enjoying it so much I devoured it in a day…taking myself off to my room to read it undisturbed.
Each story is different, some a little creepier than others. After reading the first story I am now eternally grateful I am not a big fan of all the gadgets and gizmos out there designed to help us with our day to day lives with a quick voice command. I also would love to know if Victoria Selman has met my mother as she describes the mother in her story in the exact same way Jen and I used to describe ours, which brought a smile to my face despite everything. In fact, the opening of her story brought an involuntary chuckle too… clearly I have a very warped sense of humour This book is packed full of brilliant short stories by authors I had never read before but will now certainly be going in search of and adding them to my ever increasing book purchases.
What a collection of stories and what a way to spend an afternoon. A nice distraction from pour current situation – the time simply flew. From the rise of the machines, to the very fickle, and seemingly deadly, nature of friendships, there was a little bit of something for everyone. I’m not sure I would go as far as the friends in Rachel Blok’s story, Just a Game, no matter how much I thought I might like them. And I must admit a little bit of a smile while reading James Delargy’s Planting Nan, partly because it reminded me of my mother who used to say I should just get a chair box from work and chuck her in a hole when she went. (We didn’t … we honoured her other request of playing Ding Dong the Witch is Dead at her funeral instead, but I digress…)
There is a such a fine mixture of stories here that it really is a book I would highly recommend. Perfect for a lazy day in the garden, or even for just dipping into when you have a spare five or ten minutes in your day, and perhaps need a little peace and quiet away from the family. From stories with slow building tension, to tales that will make you think long and hard about the rise of technology, even to stories that will just make you smile, in a devilish kind of way of course, it really is a perfect way to get a taster of a real variety of authors, and I have, regrettably, only read one of their full length books before, something I plan to remedy in the not too distant future. PLus you get to make a donation to a very worthy charity. Definitely recommended.