Book Review: Suicide Stitch – Sarah L. Johnson

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Suicide Stitch is a collection of stories that were birthed inside the mind of Sarah L. Johnson and have been released through Electro Magnetic Pulse Publishing (EMP Publishing). I have actually come across Sarah’s work before in the Grey Matter Press anthology ‘Dark Visions Volume One – A collection of modern horror’ which was nominated for a Bram Stoker award in 2013. The short story in question was called Three Minutes and provided a highlight amongst what was a terrific collection of dark fiction.

I strongly believe that the dark fiction genre features some truly extraordinary writers. Mercedes Murdock Yardley, Damien Angelica Walters, Sarah Pinborough are just some of my favourites. It is great to see a press such as EMP backing another female writer in Sarah L. Johnson and after reading this collection, the decision seems fully justified.

I love short story collections! In fact, I much prefer them to novels. I find that when they are well-written they will engage you straight away. There is no time for epic world-building and characters need to be fleshed out quickly. Punchy is a word I often use with short stories and that’s what I look for, a story that grabs you from the first few sentences and doesn’t let go until the end.

Suicide Stitches is a series of short stories that stir emotions, often creating arousal and Horror in equal measure. Some say that variety is the spice of life and there is plenty of variety here to dig your teeth into. From a story about strange post-it notes being left around town to a cage dancer that helps out a lonely child she sees sitting outside in the snow, or the gut-wrenching ‘Bridge’ which for this reader was an absolute treasure of a story and made me shed a tear. Suicide Stitches is a superb collection and comes highly recommended from this book nerd. Johnson reaches out to discerning readers of erotic, dark fiction and asks that you take her hand as she walks you through these eleven stories. Just pray she doesn’t let go.

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