Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Review - The sign in the Moonlight by David Tallerman

The Sign in the Moonlight: And Other Stories…

I received this book in return for a review.

David Tallerman's short fiction is commonly seen in all the best genre magazines and anthologies, which tells you that it is well-crafted. This collection showcases a short story writer of uncommon skill.

In here you'll find stories that brush the unknown with fingers outstretched, that send shivers down the spine, that paint with a palette of darkness. Tallerman is obviously influenced by past writers of the macabre in some of these tales but the range is much broader than that. Be he writing in the style of Victorian ghost tale, pulp era horror or modern his voice comes through.

Tales of mountain explorers, barrow dwellers, Santa Things, freezing deserts, soulful scarecrows and, of course, ghosts fill these pages and you'd be hard pressed to find an off note in the symphony of shadows. It is possible to find favourites though. I was especially taken with The facts in the case of Algernon Whisper's Karma a very clever tale of reincarnation. Also The war of the rats, written especially for this volume, was an utterly compelling tale of World War 1. Another favourite was the charmingly disturbing tale of My friend Fishfingerby Daisy, Aged 7.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this work to fans of Lovecraft, MR James, Algernon Blackwood et al as Tallerman can take his place amongst those, and other, master craftsmen of the dark tale.

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