Crystal Lake Publishing have made the wise decision in signing up Mercedes Murdock Yardley. Recently, they have re-released a string of her books including ‘Little Dead Red’ a terrific, but heartbreaking novella about the murder of a young girl (there is a pattern emerging here!), ‘The Nameless’, ‘Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu’ and this little number here – ‘Pretty Little Dead Girls’
The first thing to notice is the striking cover art. It really is a perfect fit for the book and was created by award winning artist Galen Dara.
I think that I would describe this books as a dark fairy tale or perhaps a dark bedtime story. Byrony Adams is a girl on the run. She knows that she is destined to be murdered. The story follows her as she befriends a musician and a market fish-thrower amongst others whilst settling into life. Byrony is being watched though, hunted by a killer who is determined to bring about her demise. The characters in this story are wonderful, fleshed out brilliantly and each have their own unique personality.
If I had no clue as to who had written this story except for the words on the pages, I would know within the first few sentences that it was Mercedes Murdock Yardley. Her stories are very lyrical and have an almost dream-like feel to them. The narrative moves swiftly along and is interspersed with scenes of horror as bodies turn up at regular intervals-often with eyes or limbs missing! The chapters are short and sharp and I like that a lot. It keeps me reading and I find myself saying “just one more, it won’t take long” Another 10 chapters later and I have put a sizeable dent in the book!
I really enjoyed this. It wasn’t quite as dark as ‘Little Dead Red’ but it was a thoroughly engaging read that often made me smile and laugh with it’s dark humour. I could quote a number of passages from this book that are beautifully written, but I will let you decide on your favourites.
Mercedes Murdock Yardley is a name you should get familiar with. She has a unique voice within the dark fiction genre and with more books on the horizon, shows no sign of disappearing off into the sunset anytime soon. I have a few other books of hers on the Kindle that I am very much looking forward to reading. A writer that comes with my highest recommendation.
‘Pretty Little Dead Girls’ is available here