Friday, June 7, 2013

Only The Thunder Knows and East End Girls - From Gord Rollo and Rene Mason

5 of 5 Stars     Review Copy

JournalStone Books first foray into their new Double Down series is an absolute success.  This is where JournalStone puts together a single volume featuring two novellas, one from an established writer and another from a relatively new voice in horror.  If this effort is any indication of what to expect in the future, then the future looks so bright I gotta wear shades.

Both stories take known events and extrapolate them into entertaining tales of horror.  First up is Only the Thunder Knows from Gord Rollo who was born in St. Andrews, Scotland, and now lives in Ontario, Canada.  Fittingly he choose the story of William (Billy) Burke and his friend William Hare who took to bodysnatching in Edinburgh, Scotland as a way to make easy money.  They would dig up the recently dead and sell them to Dr. Robert Knox for use in his dissection school.  That much is history, but where Gord Rollo takes us from there is wonderful.

I enjoyed much of Rollo's prose as he placed me right into the midst of the action, "No, it was the fog he truly despised, the thick Edinburgh pea-soupers that left the cobbles invisible beneath his feet as he trudged along the empty streets."  And later, "That was how he liked to think of it - not that the fog came and hid the houses but that it took them away to some distant land where if the sleepers awoke they would see wonders aplenty through their shuttered windows."

Aside from being a well written story about the Ressurectionist period in Great Britain, it takes a number of dark twists and turns into the eternal fight between good and evil.  No spoilers from me, but I think most readers will will enjoy the twists in this story. 

The second novella is East End Girls  from newcomer Rena Mason.  Rena takes another famous villian from Great Britain's past and weaves a believable tale of  Jack the Ripper where Catherine Elizabeth Covington is studying to be a doctor and performing abortions on the street for East End prostitutes.  When one of those abortions goes bad Eliza manages to do a fairly convincing Ripper copy-cat.  Although, not at all what I expected, I found East End Girls captivating and well realized on the page and I absolutely loved the final twist.

Only the Thunder Knows/East End Girls  is available now in a Signed, Limited Edition flip book.  This is where you read one story and then flip the book over to read the other, and in e-book format as well.  JournalStone Books plans another in the Double Down series in September from Lisa Morton and  Eric J. Guignard.  I'm already looking forward to that one.

No comments:

Post a Comment