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.

A Sliver of Darkness by C. J. Tudor
Published by Random House on September 29, 2022
ISBN: 9781405952729
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Thrillers, Supernatural, Occult & Supernatural, Ghost, Suspense, Short Stories (single author), General
Pages: 352
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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three stars - A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor - REVIEW

PREPARE TO BE TERRIFIED THIS HALLOWEEN WITH C. J. TUDOR'S BONE-CHILLING COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES
'All hail the queen of scream. C.J. Tudor at her spine-tingling, nightmare-inducing best. Read it if you dare . . .' CHRIS WHITAKER'Beautifully barbaric, creepy as hell and crammed with barbed wit' JOHN MARRS
A creak of the floorboard, a shiver down your spine, the feeling that you're not alone . . ._________
Join a group of survivors who wash up on a deserted island only to make a horrifying discovery.
Meet a cold-hearted killer who befriends a strange young girl at a motorway service station.
Travel along eerie country lanes in a world gone dark, enter a block of flats with the most monstrous of occupants and accompany a ruthless estate agent on a house sale that goes apocalyptically wrong.
These eleven twisted tales of the macabre from the bestselling author of The Chalk Man and The Burning Girls are your perfect companions as the nights draw in . . .
If you're brave enough._________
'A decadent and phantasmagorical descent into the dark chasm where I first fell in love with horror fiction. Told with real heart along with daemonic savagery, these are stories to luxuriate with in the tenebrous' MATT WESOLOWSKI
'Eleven tales that are not all of the spine-tingling variety but are definitely Stephen King territory. Each story has a satisfying conclusion and a bit of a twist' Scotsman
Praise for C. J. Tudor:
'If you like my stuff you'll like this' Stephen King
'C. J. Tudor is terrific. I can't wait to see what she does next' Harlan Coben
'Britain's female Stephen King' Daily Mail
'A mesmerizingly chilling and atmospheric page-turner' J.P. Delaney
'Her books have the ability to simultaneously make you unable to stop reading while wishing you could bury the book somewhere deep underground where it can't be found. Compelling and haunting' Sunday Express
'Some writers have it, and some don't. C. J. Tudor has it big time' Lee Child
'A dark star is born' A. J. Finn

A Sliver of Darkness is C.J. Tudor’s inaugural short story collection. I’ve always said that short story collections are always going to be difficult to rate. You’re not going to love every single story, but if at least a few resonate within you, then it’s a win. I’ve not had the opportunity to read Tudor’s work previously, I know, please don’t come for me! I will be changing that pronto. Each story was complex and atmospheric, and it didn’t take much for me to envisage myself in the protagonist’s shoes, it’s safe to say every story was fully immersive.

A Sliver of Darkness feels a little like a treasure map dug up from a forgotten time. You need to blow the dust to discover stories that haven’t been heard in many years. It’s a fun journey traveling between each, discovering new characters, new stories, and twisted endings to be shocked by.

End of the Liner – A 75-year-old woman, Leila is part of the community that lives their entire life on a cruise liner. The world as they know it is over and now, they must live by a new set of rules. I mean there are harder things to do than drinking cosmos, swimming, and dancing each day, it beats the weekly grocery shop any day. Leila has lost everything – her daughter and her husband and now she is facing retirement, which isn’t as pleasant as it sounds.

The Block – This story scared the living crap out of me. There are quite a few derelict blocks of flats where I live and I completely imagined sneaking around until I heard those strange noises, I would be out of there quicker than a Cheetah chasing a Gazelle.

Runaway Blues – This was a story that Tudor dedicated to Stephen King, and it was very kingesque, especially in his Bachman era. Imagine the scene – A man with the most soulful, baritone singing voice, a stunning dancer who loves him beyond measure. But what would happen if he lost his voice?

The Completion – This was a personal favourite for me. A horrible estate agent gets his comeuppance. He’s trying to bag the sale of the most exclusive property in the town. The owner however seems to enjoy playing games with the estate agents. This agent is determined to bag it but just how far is he prepared to go?

The Lion at the Gate – A spray-painted lion on a fence seems to have a mind of its own.

Gloria – A returning character who is paid handsomely to get rid of dead bodies. She’s a haunted woman who has had to do a lot to survive. A chance encounter with a little girl leaves her willing to put her neck out.

I’m not Ted – Ted is convinced that he isn’t in fact Ted. He’s in the elevation department and he doesn’t know why or what it is. This one made me laugh a lot.

Final Course – The longest story in the collection. An end of the world dinner party story. I loved this one. Tom is invited to a big manor house to meet up with the infamous five from his university days. This is a place to provide a haven to this select few. Tom brings his blind daughter with him, but why does she cause such worry in the other guests?

The Copy Shop – Life can become very mundane as we age. An aging cat, a cantankerous husband, and a woman that wishes the past was still very much the present.

Dust – Villa de las Almas Perdidas in Gran Canaria is the place that Olivia has chosen to holiday to. The dust chokes everything and gets into every skin crease. But why is she there?

Butterfly Island – another dystopian backdrop. A butterfly sanctuary, murder, and a discovery in a gorge. Great ending.

I’m a big fan of short story collections and I loved the horror elements sprinkled throughout each story. I look forward to picking up C.J. Tudor’s next release.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image - A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor - REVIEW

C. J. Tudor lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.

Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author.

Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and sold in thirty-nine territories.

C.J. Tudor

three stars - A Sliver of Darkness by C.J. Tudor - REVIEW