Wednesday, December 5, 2012

More Than Midnight - By Brian James Freeman - 5 shorts from a master of horror

4 of 5 Stars   Advance Uncorrected Proof

Brian James Freeman is the Managing Editor of Cemetery Dance magazine and publisher of Lonely Road Books where he has produced some very nice limited editions over the years, including a beautiful print edition of Stephen King's Riding the Bullet.  In addition to his work as an editor and publisher, Freeman is also an accomplished writer.  His most recent novel, The Painted Darkness, has been called a hauntingly beautiful tale exploring the thin line between fantasy and reality.

The 5 stories in Brian's new collection have appeared elsewhere over the years and I had already read a couple of them, but if you're new to Brian Freeman or are just looking for a few good stories, you could do much worse than More Than Midnight.

First up is What They left Behind.  Scott's father has bought an abandoned property with a factory, warehouse and office building.  While moving into the warehouse during a big storm, Scott and George head to the basement of the office building to see if they can get the generator working in case of a power outage.

Brian does a great job in building tension and in getting my heart racing when the lights do go out and the two are stuck in the basement and they are not alone...the past is there with them.

My favorite story in this collection is The Final Lesson.  It's been two years since Ronald Hammerstein's wife was murdered outside the Stop-N-Go.  The killers were never caught. 

Another thing I like about Brian's stories is the way he can deliver the horror without telling you all the gory details.  He has the skill to paint a picture with his words and leave rest to your imagination and for me it's just as effective, if not more so.

The story, Among Us, is a bit out there, but a lot of fun and I thought Glenn Chadbourne's illustration for this one was dead on.

Pulled Into Darkness is one of those stories that leaves you wondering if what you read was the truth or the ramblings of a deranged mind.

The last entry was Answering The Call.  I found this to be just as disturbing as it was when I first read it in Borderlands 5, nearly a decade ago.

In all, a nice collection.  And you really can't go wrong with a few stories from Brian James Freeman.  Currently available only as a signed limited-edition hardcover from Cemetery Dance.  To learn more, click here.

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