The exceptional quality of the writing aside, what most impressed me about this collection was how the uncanny and the supernatural was used to augment stories that a chronicler of everyday tragedy and misfortune, like William Gay for example, often wrote about. At times I felt like I was reading a new approach to horror fiction, and that’s a very refreshing prickle to feel across my scalp. There’s a fantastic idea at the heart of every story too.
I think my favourite story is the one that is enduring most vividly in my memory, and that is the last story – THE GOOD HUSBAND. Which I think has its first publication in this volume, and ends the book to give a suggestion of the continuance of quality. SUNBLEACHED and the title story are also sublime. I read SUNBLEACHED at a time when I don’t think I could take another vampire in any form but that of confectionary jelly, but this story restored and re-empowered the spectre in my imagination.
I think this is a collection of fiction that anyone who appreciates quality horror should read. Said it before, but horror fiction is in a fine place right now and it’s exciting.