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From the Edge of Darkness by Kevin Saito

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(From Amazon):

You are cordially invited to take a trip to the Edge of Darkness. In his first collection of short stories, Kevin Saito presents you with thirteen terrifying and macabre tales that will make the shadows around you seem much darker and the movement in the corner of your eye infinitely more sinister. In "Tending the Flock," you will see the lengths that faith and devotion will drive a man to. "Tiebreaker" shows what happens when your family turns out to not be who - or what - you thought they were. Logic and reason only takes you so far in "Proof Positive" while in "One Shot Deal," you'll discover what desperation really looks like. Terrifying legends, paranormal horrors and the dark depths of human depravity... All of this and more awaits you within the pages of "From the Edge of Darkness." So step up, gaze into the abyss and see if the abyss truly does gaze back at you.

First advice: READ THIS BOOK DURING THE DAY.

Kevin Saito has crafted 13 stories of the macabre, the creepy, the hair raising... and I'm talking all the tiny hairs on the back of your neck and all the ones on your forearms too.  While each short story stands on its own, there is a thread running through them which both thrilled me and gave me a sense of unease, the way that good thriller fiction is supposed to do!  Saito is at home both in the supernatural and the real world, even if it is a skewed, disturbing reality in which his characters live.  I'll admit, I don't always go for this genre, but I enjoyed all of the stories, and it was those which focussed on the human rather than the supernatural aspect that I enjoyed most.  I think those which stood out for me (read: had me shivering, despite the fact that I was reading these stories at the height of our hottest summer ever!) were 'Peephole', 'Tiebreaker', and 'One Shot Deal', plus I have a fondness for 'Sentinel.'

One of the things I liked most about this collection of stories is how well they turned in unexpected directions.  The stories didn't always go where I expected -- Saito carries off the twist in the tale exceptionally well, and I was often pleasantly surprised at where they ended up.  As someone who often guesses 'whodunnit' at the beginning of the story, I found this really refreshing.  It demonstrates the depth in Saito's writing, and his intellgence as an author.  He challenges his readers to engage in the stories, to think about where he is leading them.

I look forward, very much, to further fiction from this author, and highly recommend From the Edge of Darkness,  even if you're not usually a fan of the genre.

Just don't read it before bed.  Especially if you're home alone!
Tags: genre: fiction, genre: horror, review, xxx author last name: r-z
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