I have been following the career of Lindsey Goddard for awhile now, she has become one of my favorite authors in the horror field. She wrote Ashes of Another Life which I found to be one of the best things I have read in a long time and should be required reading for fans of psychological horror. I believe that it was her first novel. Lindsey is more known for her prolific output of short stories, many of which have ended up in various anthologies. She put out a collection of short stories before called The Tooth Collector and other Tales of Terror that I found to be brilliant. When I saw that she had released a new collection recently, titled Secrets of the Slain, I had to download it instantly and dive into it. I wanted to see if she could match the quality of her first collection of stories
Oops, she did it again.
If anything her new collection, Secrets of the Slain is a stronger and more varied body of work than her first, I enjoyed all of the stories. This time out she prefaced each story with a poem, a gimmick I at first thought I would find annoying but it ended up working well for the most part. When it didn’t work for me it didn’t really subtract from my enjoyment of the story to follow and when it did work the poem actually served to set the tone and enhance the following tale. A particular favorite of mine was the poem Secrets of the Slain which prefaced the story of the same title which opens the collection. For those unfamiliar with Lindsey Goddard’s work, she has a particular talent for getting into the heads of her characters and a uniquely dark voice. That being said she writes in a wide gamut of styles and pulls them all off admirably. Each story here is quite different from the next.
Stands out for me in this collection were Old Man Stump, which reminded me of the old Tales from the Crypt show in its sly tone and Gateway Drug which did not remotely play out like I thought it would and ended up being what dark and twisted wants to be when it grows up. All told, you get fifteen great stories in this collection and I was still left wanting more.
I recommend that you all take a quiet stroll through the twisted and disturbed landscape of Lindsey Goddard’s imagination. Go forth now horror fans and buy this book, read this book, love this book and review this book. I am giving Secrets of the Slain a full Five Bananas and will wait more or less patiently for her to write more dark disturbing tales.
Eventually, one of this talented author’s stories will be made into a major motion picture, my bony ink stained fingers are crossed for an invitation to the premiere…