Spectral review #10

The goodness just keeps coming in – this is Peter Andrew Leonard’s (from The Man Eating Bookworm blog) review of Gary’s Spectral chapbook…


Spectral Press kicks off their line of small press chapbooks with none other than Gary McMahon, one of Britain’s best dark scribes. He’s the author of How to Make Monsters,  Hungry Hearts: Tomes of the Dead,  Rough Cut and most recently Pretty Little Dead Things.

Gary McMahon is one of those writers you hear a lot about from the other side of the ocean but doesn’t get enough exposure over here in Canada, not unless you squirm into the small press arena. Therefore I jumped at the chance to review his latest offering, What They Hear in the Dark.

What They Hear in the Dark is an emotionally charged and atmospheric tale of fear and loss. Rob and Becky move into a new house in the hopes of a new beginning after the senseless murder of their son, Eddie. The house is old, and like their marriage, is in need of some care. When they discover a room that isn’t on any of the blueprints, a room where silence reigns, the couple come face to face with something out of the ordinary.

Right from the start I was drawn to Rob and Becky’s plight. A parent’s biggest fear is something dreadful happening to one of their children. McMahon tackles the topic with the right amount of emotion and tenderness, at the same time exposing the anger and frustration, the emptiness, the couple must face.

Spectral Press is a small press dedicated to producing quality chapbooks devoted to ghostly or supernatural fiction and Gary McMahon’s story certainly gets things started in the right direction. What They Hear in the Dark is beautifully written, displaying McMahon’s strong talent for storytelling.

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