One of the best things about getting sent books to review, is discovering authors, who up until now, you had never heard of. The flip side of this though is realising that you have missed out on some great authors. Thankfully David A. Sutton of Shadow Publishing, has published this collection of short stories from Eddy C. Bertin. For those of you not in the know Eddy is Belgian author who was first published in 1968.
The Whispering Horror, brings together fourteen of Eddy's best stories in one rather splendid collection.
Much as I love short stories, I always find anthologies and collections the hardest the reviews to write. And this collection is no different, I find it hard to come up with new ways to describe just how good a story is, and when you are faced with fourteen stories that range for brilliant to exceptional, you soon find yourself repeating the same thing over and over.
That being said this is a remarkable collection, that not only serves to bring fourteen wonderful stories together in one place, but also serves to bring the talented writing of this author to much wider audience. To some horror fans Bertin is author you probably have never heard of, and there is no shame in this, however, this is a name you really need to get acquainted with and The Whispering Horror is the perfect way in which to do this.
For me some of the highlights of this collection were Something Small, Something Hungry. This excellent story set in a circus which has become a focal point for a series of unexplained murders, works brilliantly as a both a horror story and a noir thriller. Full of grotesque characters, who may or may not be the killer. Bertin maintains the chills, right up until the identity of the killer is revealed, in a stunning and refreshing take on a horror staple.
Composed of Cobwebs, is an evocative and moving story of a man slowly descending into madness after the death of an unrequited love. Bertin wonderfully descriptive writing slowly gets under your skin, until a truly shocking and brutal ending, punches in you in the stomach.
Like Two White Spiders, is a first person narrated story by a man in a nuthouse. With the role of the reader being played by a priest who has been sent to there to find out what happened to him. We have all read stories like this one about a pair of killer hands that turn on their host. However, this is one of the finest examples of them, thanks in part to the great reveal at the end and a rate inventive way in which our narrator decides to take the problem in hand.
Like many authors, Bertin has dabbled in Lovecraft's Mythos, Dunwich Dreams Dunwich Screams is a brilliant historical horror that delves into the true events of what happened in English namesake of Lovecraft's famous town. But is is the wonderfully titled My Fingers Are Eating Me which is my favourite of the these Lovecraft inspired tales.
This story is an excellent tale of claustrophobic paranoia, where a visiting journalist is witness to a brutal mugging. However as he investigates what really happened he soon discovers that famous London Underground is home to more than tramps rats and bad smells. Bertin expertly layers on the tension and terror in this fantastic story, that serves as a first class ending to this exceptional collection.
File Under Horror Novel Review