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Beyond Glass is a short story collection in the Black Shuck Shadows series (short horror collections – check out all the pretty covers!).
Rachel Knightley’s offering is number 27, and I think it firmly belongs amongst the other greats in the Shadows line-up. This collection gives us 6 short stories of varying levels of horror. Here are my thoughts on each:
The Other Woman: Part One ~~~ After losing her partner, Jay lives with her sister and brother-in-law. The way she lost her partner was nefarious, and that’s just where her problems begin. But maybe there’s a way out… maybe her sister can be of assistance….
I was hooked by this story. There’s something about these types of characters that really draw me in – particularly the antagonist, who doesn’t even make an appearance. I love the type of horror that comes from the writer making you fear for the character, rather than trying to scare you directly with the monster.
Not the Fire, Just the Light ~~~ a tiny theatre troupe performs the same play every year.
This is atmospheric, ghostly, and a little bit sad. Definitely not a “you’ll run screaming through the night” type of horror story, more a take on loss and grief. Beautifully framed and told, and lingered with me afterwards.
Wolf in the Mirror ~~~ The object of this guy’s affection is… shall we say… frowned upon.
Not my favourite in the collection, but still a strong piece of the overall puzzle. I’d describe this as a character study that explores internal horror and shame.
Green Lady ~~~ Sian’s father has passed away and she keeps him alive by watching short videos of him every day.
This one is so thoughtful and beautiful, in a sad way again. It has shades of the kind of writing I love from authors like Gary McMahon.
Ash’s Creatures ~~~ Harry rents a room from Eliza, who is easy to fall in love with.
Harry’s thoughts about Eliza and her former tenant, Ash, are deep. There are entire worlds packed into this short story, that you only get a glimpse of. It’s like looking through a tiny window into the expanse of a really interesting stranger’s life experiences.
The Other Woman: Part Two ~~~ a follow on from the first story in the book, and once that I was REALLY looking forward to because I enjoyed that first story so much.
Oh my bejeesus, I wasn’t expecting what happened in this story. Perhaps I should have been, but I wasn’t! I was so scared for our main character as soon as I started reading. For fear of spoiling, I can say no more, other than it was a great ending to the story, and a great ending to the collection.
Overall, a very enjoyable collection. It was my first foray into the world of Rachel Knightley, whose other books I will definitely be picking up! If you’d like to get your own copy, you can find it at the link below:
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