{Book Review} The Dead Inside: Edited By Laurel Hightower & Sandra Ruttan

The Dead Inside: Edited By Laurel Hightower & Sandra Ruttan

Reviewed By Sarah J. Huntington

I adore anthologies. They are the way I find new authors to admire and read. I truly cannot get enough of them, so I was looking forward to reading this one. There are many artists in this book and the stories have a theme based around the title and with many, vastly different interpretations. I believe readers will feel these stories on a deep level and they absolutely will resonate with everyone.


Don’t we all feel overwhelmed by life and existence sometimes, or too busy, too frantic? Don’t we all feel our surface persona is a mask we have to, or feel we have to wear? Or even a mask society has given us and forced us to wear.

The tales explore many of these aspects in length and the majority of contributors were brand new to me which was a pleasant surprise.

I enjoyed every single story. There were only a couple that failed to grab me but all of them were thought-provoking and well written, sometimes beautifully so.

My favourite was My Skin Drum Garden. That tale got me on a personal level and it left me shaken, it was so powerful.

The reader is bombarded with emotion and pain. There are deep truths and gut-wrenching agony within these pages, sorrow and strength, a little hope too.

Body horror, psychological horror, harrowing events…Books like this could change a person’s outlook on others, the impact is so great.

There is also poetry and prose sprinkled throughout. I fully confess to not being a fan or reader of poetry, although I did enjoy the ones in this book.

I read the kindle version and I will buy the paperback too because it belongs in any horror fan’s bookcase.

The Dead Inside

Our identity is the essence of who we are … But what if our identity is threatened? What if our family members or partners reject our identity? What if educators and employers push us to conform to their prejudices or expectations for us? When we twist, contort, bleed, unravel, and die on the vine—what becomes of the pieces that remain? How much can we cut before there’s nothing left?

Through the pages of The Dead Inside, some of the best horror writers of our era examine the forces that can threaten our identity, exposing the ways identity horror threatens our well-being, our dreams, our very existence.

Featuring stories and poems by:

S. H. Cooper, M. Lopes da Silva, Paul Michael Anderson, K. P. Kulski, Robert Bagnall, Belicia Rhea, Eric Raglin, Robert Stahl, Sarah Jackson, Daniel Barnett, R.J. Joseph, Sam Kyung Yoo, A. K. Dennis, Ali Seay, Michelle Cadiz, Joe Koch, Jaecyn Boné, Avra Margariti, Michelle Mellon, Evelyn Freeling, Katie Young, Marcus Woodman, Sarah Wu, Elle Turpitt, Renee Cronley, Mary Rajotte, Patrick Tumblety, Roxie Voorhees, Tabatha Wood, and Scott J. Moses

Foreword by weird and horror author Donyae Coles

You can buy The Dead Inside from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Sarah Jane Huntington

I am the author of several short horror story collections, Paint it Black, Iron Maidens, Between light and shadow and Waves of Mutilation.

Cabin Terror is my first full-length novel.

My stories have appeared in a few anthologies so far.

I am a nurse, currently working in hospice care.

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJaneHunti1

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