Christmas Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley
Published by Bloomsbury as an exclusive ebook: £1.99 Kindle download from amazon.co.uk
Just when you were afraid of Boxing Day leftovers…
Chris Priestley’s Tales of Terror series evolves for the Festive season, in a collection of Christmas themed short stories. For fans of his Terror series to date (three books, and one World Book Day short), this is excellent news, doubly so because he is up to his usual standard. There is something particularly extra creepy about this collection of yarns, with the darker underbelly of Christmas exposed across the seven tales contained within.
In an odd kind of way, there is present here that comforting familiarity of the Priestley horror yarn, that unmistakable MR James vibe that welcomes you into its very antiquated, English world, of Manor houses, and servants, and the constant theme of children either as victims or malevolent imps, or sometimes both. And the author does it so well, as he has done before, carving expert shocks and thrills out of such well tuned set-ups; I think Soot (story six) was my favourite, involving a chimney with a terrible secret, closely followed by The Green Man (the first story in the collection) and Frost (the fourth). I think perhaps the most disturbing tale is The Snowman, the third story in and as far from Raymond Briggs as you could wish for…
Well, again he has done it, and delivered another excellent selection of ghostly delights. For £1.99, that equates to approximately 28p per story, which is ridiculous value. Also thrown in are tasters for Priestley’s superb novels The Dead of Winter and Mister Creecher. If you haven’t read these yet, or any of his other books, then you are denying your eyeballs a luxurious treat. You must remedy this forthwith.
Andy Jamieson, Geekzine UK Editor-in-Chief