Thursday, March 8, 2018

Lost and Lonely, by Brian James Freeman

 Another solid collection by Brian James Freeman.

 Brian James Freeman tends to be underrated by Horror fans, probably because he works almost exclusively in short stories, but what short stories.....Freeman has been quietly delivering solid, effective shorts for well over a decade now, and he seems to get better with each new collection.

 His latest, LOST AND LONELY, is a slim volume that collects five of his short stories, each one graced by an outstanding Glenn Chadbourne illustration. Simon Clark provides an introduction.

 The collection opens with Losing Everything Defines You, which finds a man recording his version of events that happened before and after the mysterious disappearance of his wife and child.

 Loving Roger is a tale worthy of an E.C. comic, as a woman rushes home to try to make a new start of her fractured relationship.

 How the Wind Lies was originally published as an exquisite chapbook by the late, lamented White Noise Press, and is a harrowing weird western about a family that fled to the west to escape a monster that was preying on their neighbors and friends back in the east. Maybe they didn't flee far enough.....

 Perfect Little Snowflakes is a tight little drama about a pair of teenagers who must confront the fallout of an unplanned, and perhaps unwelcome, pregnancy.

 The book concludes with the short, but incredibly disturbing, The Plague of Sadness, which starts with a mother murdering her infant, and somehow manages to get more troubling from there.

 Freeman is a solid writer with a very readable style. This collection is a page-turner; Freeman has a classic literary writing voice which is a pleasure to read. Highly recommended for Horror fans.

 LOST AND LONELY earns eight out of ten perfect little snowflakes:
❄❄❄❄❄❄❄❄

 Cemetery Dance Publications provided a review copy.