13 Views of the Suicide Woods

Bracken MacLeod. ChiZine, $18 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-77148-411-4
In his first short story collection, horror writer MacLeod brings together the macabre and the offbeat. Stories such as “The Texas Chainsaw Breakfast Club or I Don’t Like Mondays,” in which a group of teenagers are imprisoned in a dungeon by their guidance counselor, are quirky; others, such as “Ciudad de los Niños,” in which a desperate father bargains for his lost daughter, are undeniably creepy. MacLeod’s prose is rich in detail, adding depth and color to each tale, whether a vignette or a longer piece. However, his stories are peppered with scenes that are scary just for the sake of it, reminiscent of superfluous jump scares in horror flicks. “The Blood and the Body” pairs a house party with a freakish Satanic society, but the payoff is forced and jarring. The collection has many entertaining tidbits, but falls short of thought-provoking cerebral horror. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/2017
Release date: 03/01/2017
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