In browsing the shelves of the KendallReviews library trying to feed my current obsession for anthologies, I decided to pull out a little book by Nicholas Vince entitled What Monsters Do, a 104 page book with a stunning cover, containing ‘Seven Short Stories of Psychological Horror’.
From novel takes on the classics (Werewolves, Ghosts and The Mummy) to monsters of the authors own creation, What Monsters Do is a thoroughly intoxicating read that will both shock and delight you in equal measure.
Family Tree reveals the chilling reason why two brothers have not seen each other for 25 years. It’s a fantastic start to the anthology showing Vince not only has the chops to horrify you, he can also get you so emotionally involved with characters that the ending really does offer a punch to the gut. Tunes From The Music Hall is set in Victorian times. A tale about forbidden love told from a very unusual perspective. An incredibly passionate story where the real monster is not from supernatural realms. Green Eyes is a chilling piece of fiction! I really enjoyed how it was written, almost riddle like, making you think, leading you by the hand to its shocking conclusion. Death Is But The Doorway is great fun. The Mummy sub-genre is given a good kick in the arse with a rip-roaring tale of curses, missing people and death-dealing statues. And in Nan, a character that I loved! Nursery Rhymes is possibly my favourite tale in this book. I found this brilliantly dark. Humans are very much the monsters here in a tale of rejection, jealousy and revenge. There’s a true open-mouthed shock moment in this story, that in lesser hands could have ruined the story. Powerful stuff! The Worst Day tells the story of a father who needs to protect his recently deceased sons name. But in doing so, ghosts from his past show he may not his sons best interests he’s trying to preserve. The Beast In Beauty is wonderfully poetic at times, mixing sub-genres and adding very real-life issues into the story to produce something that is incredibly mysterious and keeps you thinking long after the book snaps shut.
What Monsters Do is a 104 page treasure, you’ve really got no where to hide in so few pages and 7 stories. A weaker tale would stand out like a sore thumb but credit to Nicholas Vince, i’m struggling to pick a tale that has been hit by that dreaded hammer, what I can do is suggest you go and pick up this book now. It demands to be read!