Review: Dark Corners by Theresa Curnow
07 August 2012
When offered the chance to read a collection of short stories from one of my fellow www.spinetinglers.co.uk members, I jumped at the chance.
Dark Corners, the title story starts us off, with a trip into the corner of our eyes and the dark, sinister things that exist in the depths of one fearful man’s gaze. An interesting premise that really cranks up the sense of impending dread as our protagonist fears for his life and sanity.
The Collector unnerved me a little as my son has the same name as the strange child in this. Any parent would be horrified to bring up a child such as the one you’ll find here; one who likes to collect ‘things’ . . .
Dead by Twelve is a Laymonesque turn of the screw as a desperate woman finds herself at the receiving end of a phone call that tells her she’ll be “dead by twelve”. I felt myself gripped as Curnow upped the tension as the final hour approaches and passes, ending the story with a punch line that delivers the rend twist perfectly.
Other standout stories include The Walker in which a shoe obsessed thief finds herself literally walking to hell in a visionary piece which worked terrifically on so many levels.
Inside brings us a new fanatical mother who finds herself caring more for what lurks behind the bedroom wall than her child.
Retribution starts off as a visceral study of a horrific kidnap that gradually dissects itself to justify the kidnapper actions.
The Quiet Man presents us with an atmospheric rendition of a man finally tipped over the edge by his scum of the earth family, and how he gets The Quiet Man to help him.
Origin would easily work well as a competent Sci-Fi film, as a young woman discovers that her maddening dreams of abduction aren’t really in her head.
For me these are the stand out stories, the rest however do seem to need a little more work to flesh them out and build on characters and prose. But remember, this is an amateur’s effort into the field, so some teething problems can be forgiven, simply for the narrative drive of the better stories save this collection, most of which surprised me with their originality.
Many of the stories are set in Curnow’s native Cornwall, so if you live in, or hold a love of visiting the area I’d recommend this collection as it delves into various folktales, using real locales. So if you fancy taking a cheap and frightful trip into the world of a new writer, you find some memorable little nuggets in this bloody collection.
Dark Corners is available now at Smashwords
This review originally appeared on www.snakebitehorror.co.uk