Crimewave 12: Hurts
Cover Artist: Ben Baldwin
Review by Mario Guslandi
TTA Press Magazine ISBN/ITEM#: 9780955368370
Date: 01 December 2013
The latest installment in the celebrated anthology from the British imprint TTA Press assembles fourteen original stories of dark fiction, sitting at the border between crime and horror.
Mostly, it's great stuff, providing lovers of good fiction with solid , entertaining but disquieting tales where evil is not an external entity, but an unavoidable component of the human condition, rooted in the depth of the human soul.
Some stories are so good that you won’t want to miss this book and I'll let you know why.
Simon Avery's "The Only Broken Blonde" (possibly the best tale in the volume) is an extraordinary noir with a bitter ending, revisiting in an unusual but extremely effective manner the eternal myth of the femme fatale.
Janice Law contributes "Cheap Rent" a superbly written, enticing piece featuring a man living in a house where his guilty past is hidden forever, while the late Joel Lane offers "By Night He Could Not See", a gloomy tale of yarn and revenge, the origin of which dates back to a long gone past.
Stephen Volk's "Bless" is the lucid, detached portrait of a mother whose little girl manages to return from the dead , while Danny Rhodes' "Dodge County" is a tense story of crime, temptation, and greed with an open ending.
In the brilliant, unnerving "Night Fishing" James Cooper narrates how the retrieval of a corpse from the river by four friends on a night fishing expedition triggers the revelation of darker, unmentionable secrets.
The stunning "Unfinished Business" by Christopher Priest depicts a case of apparent voyeurism unexpectedly turning into the unpleasant return of a sinister, forgotten past.
"Trial" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch is an insightful, moving piece portraying the pain, the anger and the hate of a man attending the trial of the murderer of his little daughter.
I cannot recommend this anthology enough: simply, dark fiction at its best.