Behind the facades of London's shiny dockside developments,
its designer boutiques and coffee bars lie long-forgotten
dark corners and darker secrets. It's a city where anything
can happen and being young and pretty won't always save you...
stuff, if the blurb on the back cover is to be believed. Lacuna
and Other Trips is a collection of six short stories written
by Simon Clark, Christopher Fowler, Graham Masterton, Debbie
Bennet Paul Finch and Steve Lockley & Paul Lewis.
a novel to read alone - seriously! These stories are pretty
freaky and the fact that I regularly walk around London in
the evenings did not help matters.
book kicks off with The Look by Christopher Fowler
and is a chilling view into the world of the fashion guru
and super model. Anyone who has ever wanted to be a catwalk
model is advised to skip this story. How far would you go
for fame and fortune or to attain that body beautiful look?
This is a wonderfully dark story which hits just the right
When two junkies break into a deserted mental hospital they
soon realise that it is not totally empty after all. Lacuna
by Debbie Bennet is the only female contribution to this collection
of short stories and, while not the best story of the bunch
it is by far the most believable story.
Masterton's The Scrawler starts with bizarre messages
appearing all over London that are scratched deep into a number
of areas including sides of buses and lavatory walls. These
messages only seem to be noticed by the person that they are
intended for, but even he can not believe what they are telling
him to do. This story starts well, but builds to a rather
silly climax. The homosexual slant to the story was pointless
and added very little to what would have been a chilling ending.
Instead of feeling sorry for the main character it seems as
though he gets what is coming to him,
far the greatest contribution is Paul Finch's Boys Club.
While a little slow to get going, with a confusing two layered
narrative the pay off is worth the wait. If you suspend disbelief
(there is just no way that the ending could have been set
up as we are led to believe as there are too many uncertain
variables) then the twist at the end is almost tear jerkingly
sad. Not only that, but Finch knows how to make the reader
wince with pain and disbelief as the truly horrible events
of the conclusion feel. I was left with that traffic accident
feel - you don't want to look, but can't help yourself. Truly
City Lights by Simon Clark sees a number of bizarre death
videos appear on a number of websites linked to a gothic rock
group (which split up several years earlier) it transpires
that the lead singer is taping these strange goings on and
sending them to webmasters. The strange link between these
videos is that they all seem to have been shot in London graveyards.
this story is a little silly it has its moments and is extremely
entertaining - although the ending is a little disappointing.
the Tale by Steve Lockley and Paul Lewis starts with a
journalist with writer's block who is unable to come up with
a sexy story to lead his paper. When a mysterious card appears
on his desk bearing the inscription 'The story must be told'
with a phone number, it looks like the answer to his prayers
story seriously concerned me because, believe it or not the
scary rhyme sung be the protagonists girlfriend awakened something
in my past - I'm sure I've heard it before, but can't remember
where. The plot unfolds well and has a satisfying ending.
and Other Trips is a worthy edition to any horror fans
book case. While some of the stories are patchy in places
they are, on the whole represent a damn fine read - bloody
publishers have also produced 100 special limited edition
hardback copies for £30 as well as 300 numbered limited
edition paperback copies which are signed by the authors.
These are available direct from the publishers website at
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