As I’ve said numerous times at this here blog, I do love a themed anthology and I was instantly drawn towards this particular one as I am a huge fan of small-town horror stories.
I recently devoured Shadows Over Mainstreet vol 2 and absolutely adored it. SOMS expertly delivered on the small-town atmosphere and added some wonderful H. P. Lovecraft influence to go along with it. In doing so, the editors delivered a collection of stories that freaked me out and left me fearful of turning off the lights. There wasn’t a bad tale inside of the entire book. Similarly with the excellent Imposter Syndrome anthology. Again, this collection of stories blew me away in the way the contributors tackled the subject from such different angles.
Sadly, Sussex Horrors fell a little way short of Shadows Over Mainstreet vol 2 and Imposter Syndrome. The anthology wasn’t a disaster by any means, but it didn’t exactly leave me breathless either. Of the stories I really enjoyed, Furzby Holt by Jonathan Broughton had all the right ingredients with its peculiar locals and a man looking for answers in the wrong town and Mark Cassell’s final entry called Away In A Mangler was a bloody story, and a good one to boot. This story told of strange shop owners and someone badly in need of work. I really enjoyed this, it reminded me of House of a 1000 Corpses (the Rob Zombie movie), particularly towards the end.
It’s a case of different strokes for different folks with anthologies. I could’ve done without The Pensioner Pirates of Marine Parade and a couple of the shorter stories were too short for me to remember anything about them. The first couple of stories were solid enough, but angry birds and spiders?! I’ve read similar tales elsewhere and to me, they came across as being a little too safe. I’d love to read more stories about weird locals, cults, and whatever else goes on behind closed doors.
So far, 2018 has been a great year for anthologies and as a result, I set the bar very high. Sussex Horrors was a case of being solid rather than spectacular. With the market for horror anthologies being so flooded and the fact that I’ve come across some excellent books in recent time I just needed more from this one.
3/5 closed amusement arcades from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.
Three Sussex authors … Twelve horror stories.
Take a terrifying journey to a coastline associated with candyfloss and amusement arcades, and see it stripped to the bone.
Whether it’s seagulls that prove to be more than a nuisance, the mysterious inhabitants of a forgotten village, or a fisherman whose Easter eggs are not for consumption, the horrors are always there … and much closer than we care to admit.
– The Rebirth
– The Commission
– Demon Alcohol
– Away in a Mangler
– The Stealth of Spiders
– You Have One Message
– Furzby Holt
– The Pensioner Pirates of Marine Parade
– Normal, Considering the Weather
– Double Rainbows