Tooth & Talon

James Lee. 2nd Sight, $16.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-9966058-0-9
Debut author Lee populates this collection with 11 lackluster stories of identity, obsession, voyeurism, validation, violence, and childhood trauma. Professional writing doesn’t redeem the poorly plotted stories, which provide familiar scares and few teeth or talons. In “King of the Road,” the most relatable and satisfying tale, a nebbish discovers he has the power to confront the inconsiderate drivers that infuriate him on his commute. “Seventies” furnishes some humor, with a senile vampire contemplating his lost decades. “Northern Lights” describes the unusual captivity of kidnapped hikers in Alaska. “Devil Beneath” and “No Good Deed” describe creepy events from two points of view: an elderly woman asks a neighbor to check the strange noise under her house, while her missing husband regrets having helped a stranded, violent motorist. Unfortunately, “The Tale” includes an excessively violent scene of an unstable teen committing rape, and “Ground War,” wholly incompatible with the rest of the collection, follows elite warriors battling a war machine. Many stories leave supernatural phenomena unexplained, or are heavily influenced by Twilight Zone–style twist endings. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 10/26/2015
Release date: 07/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
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