Published by Demain Publishing on 18 September 2020
Genres: Horror, Horror Short Stories, UK
Source: Purchased Book
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When Jamie takes his girlfriend for a summer anniversary getaway by the sea, he thinks only the great British weather can ruin his plans. But he hasn't accounted for Mrs Heinz, the bizarre proprietor of The Sailor's Rest, and her obsessive fixation on midnight and curfew...
(with a cover by Adrian Baldwin)
My first foray into Kev Harrison’s work was with his debut novella, The Balance. Since then, I have been obsessed not only with his ability to spin a bloody got horror story but also with his character work, which in my opinion, is one of the biggest hard hitters in the genre. Not only do you get a sense of place, but his main characters always have something you can resonate with. He’s only got better with every piece of work he’s released, The Warding and Below being favourites also.
I’ve been slowly working my way through Demain Publishing’s Short Sharp Shocks! Series and I was delighted to find that they had published some of Harrison’s shorter works. Curfew is quite literally a sharp shock, and I loved it. Even though it was a short piece of fiction Harrison manages to inflect a strong sense of character and place and immediately I was thrown into the heart of the story. It was the perfect book to read while it was bucketing down, the perfect read to start off spooky season.
The couple are heading off to Bournemouth to celebrate their anniversary. The Sailor’s Rest, a place so freaking bleak, I did wonder why the boyfriend thought this was a great place to stay. It was likely the incentive of having a discounted second night stay. It is there that they meet the infamous, Mrs Heinz. Let me tell you, she is one strange egg. She has a real bug bear about Curfew – the door gets locked at midnight and if you’re late then forget about getting in because she will not budge. The couple think this is rather strange, but what is stranger is the weird goings on on their first night. They are almost sure someone is staying alongside them but yet the housekeeper completely denies it. Oh, and why does Mrs Heinz trash the sitting room? The intrigue is off the charts.
The creeping sense of unease is there from the very first page, something that is an absolute must with a short story. You have less time to create that atmosphere so it’s vital that you create that quickly for your reader, Harrison always succeeds in this, and Curfew is no different. Loved it and can’t wait to pick up more of this phenomenal author’s work!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kev Harrison is a writer of dark fiction and English language teacher from the UK, living and working in Lisbon, Portugal where he resides with his partner in crime Ana and their two cat overlords. He’s previously lived in various cities in the United Kingdom, as well as Turkey and Poland. His subterranean horror novella, Below, is out now from Brigids Gate Press, while his debut novella, The Balance, is also available through Lycan Valley Press. His short fiction collection, Paths Best Left Untrodden is available through Northern Republic. His debut novel, Shadow of the Hidden, arrives in March 2024 through Brigids Gate Press. His short fiction has been published in a variety of magazines, podcasts and anthologies and he is a staff writer for This is Horror.