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Horror Short Story Collection

REVIEW: The Macabre: 6 Chilling Short Stories by Stuart James

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.

The Macabre: 6 Chilling Short Stories by Stuart James
on 10 June 2022
Genres: Horror, Short Stories
Pages: 256
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon

From International Award-Winning Author Stuart James, Six Chilling Short Stories.

The Intruder.
When Marcia Graham is attacked in her home and loses her memory, her only solace is a man she can't remember, claiming to be her husband. As she experiences flashbacks, Marcia is certain she has a daughter. But why is Daniel dismissing her questions, why are her phone contacts deleted and what are the muffled cries echoing through the house?

The Caller.
Cleo James runs a successful podcast from a room in a creepy parking lot, and tonight, she discusses urban legends. A caller rings into the show, wanting to invent his own story with her in the starring role.

Room 9.
Frank and Carrie run The Oak Hotel in St Ives and love to see their establishment thrive. Only Frank likes to see a lot more. While spying on the guests in room 9, he sees something which chills him to the bone.

Chelsy and her friends visit a medium and try to contact the dead.
Only after the seance, the dead won't leave.

The Hitchhikers.
Nate and Becca are lost on a deserted road late at night. When they pick up a couple of hitchhikers, their drive home becomes a living nightmare.

Vinnie Cartwright wants nothing more than to lose weight, so when he hears about the shop where you can get anything, he searches for it. Only the mysterious shopkeeper wants something in return.

The Macabre by Stuart James is a collection of six short stories that can only be described as most fatal. This author rips my heart out again and again and like some addicted book junkie I keep on coming back for more. You see, this is what James does best, he stomps out your heart with his powerful narratives and killer twists, he then hands you some Sellotape and expects you to piece together your broken heart.

I loved James’ recent release Creeper and The House on Rectory Lane. I knew this short story collection was going to be good, but my expectations were exceeded. Imagine a game of rounders, that ball went into orbit, (yeah that good). The title promises dark and dangerous stories and I loved every single one. It’s going to be gloomy, owls hooting in the night, twigs being stood on from behind you, but its this that makes it so appealing. Resistance is futile.

So, Macabre is a short story collection you say? Well what stories can you expect to read about? Sit down my child and we will talk about a few of them (imagine tales from the crypt kind of scenario).

The Intruder – This was a sledgehammer to the skull type introduction. Maria is attacked by an intruder that storms up their stairs and smacks her in the head with a hammer. When she wakes, she is suffering from amnesia, she can’t remember anything from her life before the accident and she doesn’t remember her husband. Why are her phone contacts missing and why have all her photo’s disappeared from her camera reel? This story was shocking and catalogues one of my biggest fears…not remembering my family.

The Caller – This was one of my favourites. It took my breath away from me. This is a story that displays in infinite clarity why Stuart James knows the complexity of people and how our flaws, dreams, and fears can impact our actions and reactions. Cleo James hosts a podcast and this week’s show talks about urban legends. A listener calls in with an inexplicably obscene proposition.

Room 9 – This one chilled me to the bone. Frank and Carrie own the Oak Hotel in Cornwall. One little proviso, Frank is a Grade A Pervert. His actions lead him to see something truly sinister. The ending, wow, I wasn’t sure whether to fist bump Frank or hide in the winding corridors of the hotel.

Séance – Now this was something special. After finishing this story my immediate thoughts were this was a mash-up of From Hell and Insidious. Three friends attend a séance, but who or what does it unleash. The secrets, the pain, the unknown.

The Hitchhikers – Wrong place and wrong time. A couple picks up two hitchhikers known as JJ (Jack and Jules). They have crashed their car in what looks like strange circumstances. A car ride from hell.

Anything – so who hasn’t wanted to just be able to buy anything? Never having to worry about money? Wishing a family member wasn’t ill? Or how about wishing you hadn’t put on weight? That’s exactly the situation Vinnie Cartwright is in. His weight has ballooned, and he’s always struggled to get to grips with it, no amount of fad diets, exercise, or eating one meal a day has helped. Until his friend told him about the shop that sells anything. Could this be the answer to his prayers? However, what is the price he must pay for making all his dreams come true?

Macabre is quite the ride. Buckle up, from the first scene you will be battling the never-ending sense of whiplash. I stepped into the imagination of Stuart James and was swallowed whole.


image 5 - REVIEW: The Macabre: 6 Chilling Short Stories by Stuart James

Author of world wide number 1 best selling thriller, Turn The Other Way, and International Book Award Winner for The House On Rectory Lane.
Apartment Six was a number 1 new release for a month.
Stranded, released October 19th, 2020 on Amazon.

Stuart James

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