Dark bleetings, everyone! I’m excited to review Dan Coxon’s ‘Green Fingers’ today – it’s part of the Black Shuck Books “Shadows” collection, which is a series of weird, speculative, and horrifying short story compilations. This is number 19, and it contains 6 stories with the theme of plants/nature.
Invasive Species: A couple move into a new home, and receive the lovely house-warming present of a plant, from a sender unknown. Or…. is it a lovely house-warming present?! This is such a cool story containing a fearsome… er…. element, shall we say. I really enjoyed it, especially how things escalated in such a short space of time.
By Black Snow She Wept: A woman does something desperate, and this is her account of why she claims she did it. I think this might be my favourite in the collection – it’s so good! I was really tense for the characters and just dreading what seemed to be happening with every page I turned.
The Pale Men: A guy returns to his home-town for his father’s funeral. Oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh, is that some folk horror I spy?! Actually, this one might be my favourite. Even though this is a short story (and quite short even as short stories go), the author packs quite a lot in. You get hints of the town, of the guy’s relationship with his dad, of everyone else’s relationship with his dad, and all sorts of other things. There’s a whole expansive world packed into these few pages.
We Live in Dirt: An old mayor is haunted by his past, because it might just be creeping into the present. Not my favourite in the collection, but very enjoyable. There are no massive surprises or anything, but I was along for the ride and was happy (horrified) with where it all went!
Green Fingers: I love this one! A little more folk, and many many questions! Is it a cult? Is it Satan? Who knows (well, I do, and I suggest you get the book so you can be in the know, too!)?
Among the Pines: Some friends stay in a woodland cabin and they hear scary things outside. This one has a sort of existential horror feel to it, and I thought about it for a while afterwards.
Overall, this is a solid collection. The writing is great and I love how the author plays with different styles and themes within the main theme. As far as themes go, I REALLY love the one that ties this collection together. I’d definitely recommend this book, it’s a whole load of fun and is surprisingly varied in its stories, considering they’re all thematically linked.
If you’d like to get your own copy, you can find it HERE.
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