I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Wicked Run Press on August 31 2021
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Mystery & Detective, Collections & Anthologies, Thrillers, Psychological
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Grief, depression, loneliness, suicide. Prepare to be taken by the hand to explore the darkest of human emotions and fears. Stories about those of us who have had too much and cry out desperately for help, begging for relief, asking of anyone who might listen-Let Me Out I've Had Enough. The first collection of shorts from Mark Matthews, the author of novels such as Milk-Blood, The Hobgoblin of Little Minds, and the Shirley Jackson Award Nominated editor of Lullabies for Suffering.
Stories range from the most basic horrors to the most cosmic-A father dangling from a noose after an attempted hanging gone wrong. A psychiatrist haunted by the spirits of his dead ex-patients. An alien woman must contract a virus to save the human race, and a father must sacrifice his life to do the same. You'll visit eight different worlds, created by the 'master of modern psychological horror, ' and after you've returned to where you began, you'll arrive completely safe, but certainly not the same.
*Content Warning for frequent mentions of suicide*
Includes the previously published work Body of Christ
Includes new fiction set within the world of the author's novel: The Hobgoblin of Little Minds and multiple other pieces of never published before works.
Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough is another stellar testament to just how much Mark Matthews understands the power of the human mind. This collection displays the emotions and pain at play when considering suicide, coping with the effects of suicide, and the disastrous aftermath. If you want a collection of stories to touch you deeply whilst wrenching gasps and shock from you then this is a collection that needs to be devoured. Intricate, painful, and overwhelming is how Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough should be described. It leaves scars on the soul, it is that powerful.
Mastectomy Scars – is designed to shock and hook you straight away. A dysfunctional family that is rocked by the suicide of the matriarch, cancer that ravages her body and soul. A father and lover keen to move on quickly, to make a fresh start, draw a line under the unfortunate business. A daughter that can’t make sense of the devastation, questions burning into her mind, wondering what the feel of a razor would feel like against her skin. Would she feel the thrum and throb of the blood exiting her body? Her father’s lover tries to manipulate her into being with her mum, what will that action set in motion?
Body of Christ – This is the longest piece of work contained within Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough. It is a story that manifests how suicide and religion are viewed in society. Faith has lost her mother after falling into a vegetative state and her father has to take the difficult decision to turn off her life support. Keagan, who lives across the street from Faith almost mirrors her situation. He has a difficult upbringing, with his mother being super religious and his father trying to fight the fires from her behaviour. His dad plans to end it all and does so in a disturbing fashion.
The Last Bug-Chaser – this is a story that is extremely relevant in a pandemic world. The Gideons who are known reverently as Bug-Chasers can be vessels for human evolution. A virus is ravaging the human race and the last Bug-Chaser is attempting to infect themselves with the virus to create a vaccine from their blood. Without them, the human race would have become extinct at various points in history already. A story that is frighteningly relevant but with a violent ending.
Mask of Sanity – I found this story to be the most frighteningly realistic story in this collection. Can working with the mentally ill make you more inclined to suffer from mental ill-health. Are we all just slipping our mark of sanity into place when we are in public? This was a superb story and it was the strongest in my opinion.
Tattooed All In Black – another cancer sufferer, another story full of grief, pain, and destruction. Lara Is sent home to die, she tells her husband that everything will be alright, but nothing is alright. A journey of self-destruction, a hope that Lara might make herself known, a friendly neighbour that only wants to help. This story had one of the best endings to a highly emotive plot.
Let Me Out I’ve Had Enough is a nuclear ball of energy. It taps into your humanity and makes you check on your loved ones. Unsettling, a scary look into our future as a society. It affected me in ways I’m struggling to verbalise. The brutality of it will knock you for six, bring you to your knees and leave you fighting for every breath.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Matthews is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a licensed professional counselor who has worked in behavioral health for over 20 years. He is the author of On the Lips of Children, All Smoke Rises, and Milk-Blood. He is also the editor of (and a contributor to) Lullabies for Suffering and Garden of Fiends. The Hobgoblin of Little Minds is his latest release, published in January of 2021. Matthews has run 13 marathons, loves Red Wing hockey and live musicals. He has been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award and a ‘This Is Horror” award. He lives near Detroit with his wife and children. Reach him at WickedRunPress@gmail.com