Kindle: 144 pages
Release Date: 12th August 2017
Thanks to Jon Richter and Jenny of Neverland Blog Tours for the review copy.
Jon Richter’s fabulous collection of unsettling and engrossing short stories sits squarely somewhere between Roald Dahl’s “Tales of the Unexpected” and Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror”. Neatly crafted and without exception skin crawlingly compulsive to read they whip through epic fantasy to sci-fi to horror without any chance to draw breath, and yet you never feel that you’ve been cheated on detail or that the characters and settings are anything other than deeply drawn.
The Blurb: The first volume of my Disturbing Works is a collection of twelve twisted tales perfect for people who like their stories dark, despicable, and deeply unsettling. Containing fantasy, sci-fi, dark humour and a lot of deliciously nasty horror, it should have something for every reader that has a sinister side and nerves of steel…
I have a love hate relationship with short stories – particularly anthologies. Too often they are patchy in quality, or a series of interesting ideas that are never quite brought to fruition. It’s not the case with these.
Richter’s use of language is wonderful, verging on poetic at times, which just makes the cruel juxtaposition with the content all the more dark and delicious. Bizarre and gruesome at every turn, Richter is able to immerse us in a wide variety of places – including Japan, North London and Outer Space…(!) seamlessly. Right from the opening with “Vengeance” you realise what you’re in for – Richter pulls no punches. This is full of well crafted cliffhangers that don’t feel contrived but leave you wanting more and clever structures and humour that stop the stories from ever falling into repetition. I really want him to develop “Something Waits” into a full blown feudal fantasy novel!
Many of the stories deal with suitably dark themes – possession, the dark side of relationships, fear of the unknown, rage, violence and revenge, but often the most engaging stories focus on the characters and their choices. To shoot or not. To act or not. To open that door or not. And it’s the fall out of these choices that Richter delights in – this man loves to torture his characters! If you love Netflix’s “Black Mirror” there is plenty for you here. In several stories we see the collision between modern technology and the darkness it could bring into our lives in the near future… terrifying.
This collection really does have something for everyone. There are diverse characters and settings, a range of exciting genres and each is just long enough to keep you happy on your tube commute.
You can buy “Disturbing Works Vol.1” now on Amazon for the ridiculously bargainous price of 99p.
Jon Richter lives in London and spends most of his time hiding in the guise of his sinister alter ego, an accountant called Dave. When he isn’t counting beans, he is a self-confessed nerd who loves books, films and video games – basically any way to tell a good story. Jon writes whenever he can and hopes to bring you more disturbing stories in the very near future.