Black Evening: Tales of Dark Suspense

Black Evening: Tales of Dark Suspense - David Morrell Wow. I may have found not just one, but two new-to-me favorite authors this week. So incredible when that happens, it's so rare.
First [a:William F. Nolan|41749|William F. Nolan|], now [a:David Morrell|12535|David Morrell|].

How was I ever to guess that the author of Rambo: First Blood was an excellent horror writer?

I'll update this review as I progress through the book, not necessarily in order.

***** Author's Introduction

I never rate these, but the intro to this book is really, really good.

**** The Dripping

A man goes into his mother's house where his wife and child were visiting, only to find it empty. He hears dripping in the basement and children's toys are scattered there, and milk is dripping from the ceiling everywhere...and then it gets weird.

The author's first published short story. One of those where the words disappear and you're there. Tense, flowing and really good - even though the ending left me a little confused. Even though I'm not sure I correctly understood the resolution, I really enjoyed reading this.

**** The Partnership

A darkly humorous tale of two business partners completely fed up with each other. Funny stuff, and the kind of tale I like to throw into my own horror collections to lighten the mood.

**** Black Evening

Another wonderfully written tale, full of tension, atmosphere and imagery. A detective and his crew make a grisly discovery in a dilapidated old mansion where neighbors have been complaining of a horrible stench.

This very short story is diminished a bit by the events that unfold on the final page, but the rest is utter brilliance.

*** The Hidden Laughter

A fairly short and self-admitted experimental story about a house that still holds the laughter of the children who once lived and played there. More a sentimental muse on pasts fondly remembered than a full-fledged story, it's still nicely written and somewhat reminiscent of Bradbury.

***** The Typewriter, by David Morrell

I absolutely loved this story! Everything about it. It would make a great episode of The Twilight Zone, and reminded me a little bit of one of my own stories, Whatever Possessed You.
A starving poseur of a writer buys a strange typewriter that types out bestsellers no matter what keys he hits, it seems to have a mind of its own. I'll let you read the rest for yourself. Wonderful writing on dispay here.

**** A Trap for the Unwary

This is not a short story, but rather an introduction for the take that follows. Provides some nice insight into the author's thoughts and his writing process.

**** But at my Back I Always Hear

A gripping story about a college professor being stalked by an unbalanced female student who believes he's telepathically sending sexual messages to her. Loved this one right up to the end, which was fine - but somehow felt like the story was fraying a little by the final paragraphs. Worthwhile read, thought. This author has such a smooth style.

**** The Storm

A simple yet fun supernatural tale about a massive storm that one man can't seem to escape. Solid escapist entertainment.

***** For These and All My Sins

Wonderful horror short that would make an excellent episode of Masters of Horror. A man's car breaks down in rural Nebraska, and he just barely makes it into a small town far from the interstate before sundown. But the locals won't talk to him, or let him see their faces. Is the story that follows a tale of madness or actual horror? That's up for you to decide.

*** Black and White and Red All Over

A story written from the perspective of a young paperboy recovering from an incident that occured on his route. Someone has been kidnapping paperboys in the areas, but only during snowstorms...what does it all mean? Nicely written and somewhat nostalgic, but ultimately doesn't add up to much more than a vaguely pleasant read by the time it's over.