Some writers thrill me with their action packed all guns blazing horror. Some chill me to the bone with their dark and scary imaginations, and some authors dig their icy talons deep into my emotional cortex and tear it to pieces. Mark West is one of those authors, his stories have always struck an emotional chord with me, and this, the latest chapbook from Spectral Press is no exception.
At first this may seem like a simple tale of a man going back to his home town to lay the ghosts of his past to rest, but look behind the veil a little and you will see a story that is both rich in period and emotional detail. Those of you, who, like myself and Mark, whose formative years were in the late 70's and early 80's will instantly be transported back in time. You'll smell that favourite jumper drying on a clothes horse, you'll hear the faint sound of your favourite TV programme playing in the back ground of your mind, but most importantly your remember a time where it didn't seem as though there was danger lurking around the corner of your street.
However, where this story excels, is Mark's amazing talent at intertwining the stories narrative with an emotional depth and detail, that will stir the emotions of the reader. At no time does this ever feel mawkish, or forced. Mark West's writing has a heart and soul that many writers would kill for. And the finale of this story gets going the chill factor is raised to freezing point. Stories where the protagonist goes back to his childhood home are ten a penny, What Gets Left Behind, is a £100 note in a pocket of small change.
In 1981, Gaffney was terrorised by the Rainy Day Abductor.
Local girls went missing.
And two boys made a terrifying discovery.
Now one of them has come home, to try and lay the past to rest.
"Very strong writing and a nice evocation of time and place. West conjures the sense of a particular era with skill and the horrors he finds there are universal." Gary McMahon
26pg A5 print booklet with card covers, signed and numbered, 100 only – published September 2012.
Available from the publishers - Spectral Press, 5 Serjeants Green, Neath Hill, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK14 6HA, UK for £4 (plus 50p P+P) either through Paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or cheque (made payable to ‘Simon Marshall-Jones’) to the address above. Subscriptions for 4 issues available for £16UK/£23.50EU/$45US/$45RoW – payment details as above.