cover image Cursed


Jeremy C. Shipp, . . Raw Dog Screaming, $29.95 (216pp) ISBN 978-1-933293-87-5

Shipp (Sheep and Wolves ) offers readers a tightly written story of suspense and occult horror. Nicholas believes that he has been cursed, and he is not alone; his eccentric love interest, Cicely, is convinced that the fate of the world depends on her possession of a tennis ball. As their loved ones express skepticism, Nicholas and Cicely seek out other curse victims, including accident-prone Abby and reluctant mentor Kin. Though at first the curses seem mere delusions, it soon becomes clear that a malevolent entity called Pete is amusing itself by tormenting them. Abby's fatalism, Nick's self-hatred and Pete's power and ruthlessness hamper their efforts to find curse-free lives. Using Nicholas's idiosyncratic voice and fondness for lists, Shipp effectively conveys the claustrophobic world of people caught up in events beyond their control. (Nov.)