The Devil Will Come: A Modern Collection of Devilish Fiction
by Justin Gustainis
Review by Mario Guslandi
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781770530898
Date: 25 October 2016 List Price $12.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
As suggested on the back cover of the book, we may or may not believe in the Devil as an entity, but cannot deny the existence of Evil. Thus, be the Devil a person or the simple representation of evil lurking in the human heart, here's a collection of 21 short stories addressing in various ways that issue, penned by Justin Gustainis in the course of the last fifteen years.
Most of the stories are so accomplished and entertaining that it's not easy to pinpoint the best ones. For instance, we have a couple of splendid crime stories with unexpected endings, such as the quite enjoyable "Predators" and the excellent "Courtesy Call" plus a solid noir about a well planned robbery with an astonishing outcome, "Reunion".
"Again the Burning Times" is a post-apocalyptic piece where technology is regarded as a danger and a sign of witchcraft, while "Advocatus Diaboli" is a nice tale proving how often the Devil played a role in the world's history.
In the compelling "Until I Come Again", Jack the Ripper meets a powerful creature from East Europe looking for a helper when he moves to London....
The superb "Bargain" features a serial killer taking advantage of human stupidity and cops' skepticism, while the creepy "Bounty" portrays a scary bounty killer hunting down men who made a pact with the Devil.
The highlight of the volume, to me, is the outstanding and very dark "Meat Wagon" which revolves around a peculiar black van bringing about horror and death even in the police department.
Gustainis is an excellent and eclectic writer, whose work deserves to be more widely known. The present book is a very good opportunity to make his acquaintance.