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The Shadows of Kingston Mills by David B. Silva
Review by Mario Guslandi
Dark Regions Press Perfect Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781888993707
Date: 15 December 2009 List Price $17.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

A fictional small town in Northern California named Kingston Mills is the brainchild of the Bram Stoker Award winner author and editor David B Silva, who sets in this imaginary location twelve tales of dark fantasy ( eleven originals and one reprint) assembled in an attractive volume by Dark Regions Press.

Silva is a hell of a writer, endowed with an extraordinary talent as a storyteller and the ability to create characters and situations in just a few sentences.

Residents of Kingston Mills have many dark secrets to conceal and occasional passers-by should better watch out or leave the town in a hurry. A standing example is provided by the excellent story "It's All Happening On Fillmore Street" in which a man stopping in town with his family and taking a walk from the hotel steps into a kind of Twilight Zone where reality gets very odd.

In the enjoyable "Max the Magnificent" a young boy tries to bring back from the dead his mother by means of a stage magician's tricks, while in the delicate "Love Never Lost" a former lover reappears after many years, apparently unchanged, yet deeply altered, to ask for a favour.

"The Most Painful Companion of Death" is a tense, gripping tale of Lovecraftian horror told in a compelling narrative style, while "Nothing As It Seems" is a captivating SF tale where people are sucked into another dimension due to the uncanny power of a mysterious Abductor.

I'm note sure I got the meaning of "In Your Head" quite right but I found it an uncommonly disquieting piece. A library clerk is possibly a monster in disguise, but, most likely, not the only one in town.

My favourite story is "The Gathering" an extremely creepy variation on the theme of the haunted house. The tale itself is quite horrific but the final twist from the supernatural to daily reality is even more horrifying.

Wholeheartedly recommended to any horror fan.

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