Doorbells at Dusk, edited by Evans Light and from Corpus Press, is a treasury of brand-new short stories from both modern masters and rising stars of dark fiction, covering a gamut of horror, literary fiction and suspense that is sure to thrill both horror aficionados and casual readers alike.
Contributors include: Josh Malerman, Lisa Lepovetsky, Chad Lutzke, Amber Fallon, Curtis M. Lawson, Sean Eads, Joshua Viola, Ian Welke, Charles Gramlich, Joanna Koch and Thomas Vaughn, along with contributions from Evans Light, Adam Light, Gregor Xane and Jason Parent.
After the successful release of the three-volume Bad Apples: Slices of Halloween Horror anthology series, co-creators Evans Light, Adam Light, Gregor Xane and Jason Parent of Corpus Press were driven by their love of the haunting season to use everything they’d learned to create the ultimate collection of Halloween tales.
Halloween is one of the biggest holidays for my family. My grandmother’s birthday is October 30th (Devil’s Night!) so we have a Halloween/birthday party every year with my small-but-extended family. We love to dress in full costume for the day and relive memories of Halloweens from our younger years.
This year, my Halloween season has been ushered in with some delightfully scary reads. I was very excited to read Doorbells at Dusk because I love short stories and because each story takes place on or around Halloween.
Doorbells at Dusk is an anthology of 14 stories each written by a different author. It was interesting to see the different writing styles of each author, and how each story varied in the type of scare that was prominent and the manner in which it was delivered (i.e. in your face vs. subtle and under the surface). Some stories had delicious plot twists that put my mind in a totally different direction from where it was headed when I started the story.
My absolute two favorite stories were Rusty Husk and The Friendly Man. I don’t want to give away too much of either story, but I liked them because they were gruesome and gory and dealt with particularly deranged characters. While reading both stories I wondered what I would do if I found out my neighbors had truths like theirs. Deliciously creepy stories that will haunt me for some time to come. The Vigil was a close third, as it played upon the mix of morbid curiosity and deep sadness for the victims involved in such a horrific neighborhood discovery.
There were only two stories in the book that really didn’t resonate with me (The Rye-Mother and Between). Both were beautifully written and certainly belonged in the book, but I simply favor a different type of creepiness.
Overall, Doorbells at Dusk showcases some very talented writers and their work. Many of the works in this anthology have me wanting to find more works from its author (and I just put Bad Apples on my TBR list). I highly recommend this to any horror book lover who wants to curl up and be immersed within creepy Halloween tales!