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The title is apt, referring not only to the collective history of a group of college students involved in the cover-up of a murder, but each of their own individual histories, which they try to hide from each other. Unlike most murder mysteries, here you know whodunit, you just need to know why. How is it a group of close knit friends simply turned on one of their own? What are they all hiding? The mystery here is great, but the best part is being able to relax and immerse yourself with these characters, whose spirits are a little twisted and grotesque, without feeling rushed through a plot that's in too much of a hurry to get to the finish line. The story behind each of them is compelling enough. ~ Reviewed by Alex Bell
Dark, brooding, and atmospheric, this simple tale about a family living in isolation, damaged, and pushed to the breaking point when a shadow from the past returns to haunt and uproot their happy existence, was a hidden gem of a novel when it was short-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize. It's Gothic without the romance, and a little more dirt and smoke added for taste. ~ Reviewed by Alex Bell
This collection is sure to satisfy fans as well as draw intrigue from outsiders who may only be familiar with Cohen's name, and although the lyrics collected here are familiar and easy to catch in your head it is indeed the material from his notebooks that are the real main attraction. There's an intimacy in these verses that one generally finds only in the secrecy of journals or diaries where one anticipates the author's heart and soul inked in blood on every page, which absolutely rings true here. After reading this book I feel quite close to a man I've never actually met, and never will. If this is one of the main attempts of art then Mr. Cohen has achieved it here, even if unintentionally. ~ Reviewed by Alex Bell
Poetry has been a home for voices displaced by love since antiquity, so it is easy to repeat old thoughts and motifs, but thankfully Tempest stays clean from this for the most part. It starts at the end as we work our way backward, and even though this story structure has been utilized—albeit, sparsely—Tempest mines vivid and unique images that help to render this a solid tale of poetic truths, fresh phrases, and emotional depth. It is evident Tempest has improved her style, and I'll wait and muse over what her next collection might be with eager anticipation. ~ Reviewed by Alex Bell
From its blunt blood-soaked opening story to its sad and dark conclusion, this anthology is packed with some of horror's greatest achievements. Strange, brooding, and always unique, Barker sends us on a dark odyssey that encompasses the vastness of his genre's complex landscape—carnage, psychology, and the surreal are all on display here. The highlight might be, In the Hills, the Cities, which seems to balance this strange scale of horror with considerable ease. ~ Reviewed by Alex Bell