Northwest Passages

Barbara Roden, Author . Prime $24.95 (254p) ISBN 978-1-60701-205-4

Readers with a taste for deftly executed tales of subtle horror will welcome Roden's fine debut story collection. “Out and Back” tells of an abandoned amusement park whose attractions are sinister snares set to entrap unwary thrill seekers. In “The Palace,” a skeleton crew working the night shift at a luxury hotel finds the premises haunted by the ghosts of a serial killer's victims. Both the title story and “The Wide, Wide Sea” are set in Canadian wildernesses, where the alienated mingle freely with the ghostly. Roden is a copublisher of the classic ghost story imprint Ash Tree Press, and her fiction resonates with echoes of Poe, Conan Doyle, Coleridge, Dickens and other masters of antiquarian horror. This yields powerful expressions of the supernatural in the book's two tales of 19th-century Antarctic exploration, “Endless Night” and “The Brink of Eternity,” whose carefully crafted old-fashioned style lends atmosphere to depictions of a terra incognita rich with awe and terror. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/28/2009
Release date: 11/01/2009
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