‘Three Shots and a Chaser’ sees author John Quick take us deep into the Twilight Zone with a small collection of tales cleverly stitched together around one narrative. The main arc of the story sees Matt walk into a bar where he has a yarn with some of the locals. The locals tell Matt three short stories detailing strange occurrences that surround the area.
This is my first time reading John’s work and although a little on the short side Mr Quick shows that he can certainly spin a good story. I was actually expecting a series of short horror stories and was pleasantly surprised with what was served up instead. In the notes that close out the book, Quick tells of his love of TV shows such as The Twilight Zone and how he wanted to incorporate some of that love into his writing. Well, he certainly did that. Although the first “shot” is a little too short for mine, the second and third are excellent, I particularly enjoyed the final tale where a couple looking to get away to reignite their flailing relationship break down and find themselves stuck in the middle of nowhere. I thought this tale was heading into redneck cannibal territory, but instead it keeps its feet firmly planted in the weird and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Similarly with shot 2 where a man driving down a road keeps seeing odd signs, predicting his impending doom.
John’s characters are engaging enough for you to care about what happens to them, particularly with the final story. He has a nice and smooth, easy-to-read style that will make him popular amongst genre readers and with this collection he also shows that he has a great imagination to go with that. ‘Three Shots and a Chaser’ will take you around an hour to read but it will be an hour well-spent. John is working with Sinister Grin Press in 2017 and I for one will be looking forward to what he comes up with next. Definitely worth checking out.
Pick up a copy from here.