Horror is meant to shock and disturb us. It’s also meant to show how strong people can be when faced with something that is truly terrifying. Horror stories don’t often have happy endings and if someone does get a happy ending they most likely suffered along the way. Horror can be a lot of things and Deeply Twisted by Chantal Noordeloos offers up 20 short stories that show what horror is really all about.
This anthology has a lot to offer, there are stories about witches, alien creatures, the devil at a dinner party, sea monsters, a man who collects souls, a mysterious clock tower, grave robbers, zombies and much more. This is a great horror anthology, some stories are better than others but even the ones I didn’t care for had some great ideas and we’re well written.
One of my favorite stories in this book was the zombie tale: Victims Of Evolution. I loved how Eloise describes her family then describes being bit by a zombie, changing into one and evolving into something else. I loved this concept and it was an original take on zombies. Another great tale is Death Awaits You which has a great twist and some disturbing imagery with some gory descriptions of dead bodies. Out Of The Storm was also a story that had great imagery with its descriptions of a monster storm and a haunted hotel.
Dinner Date was a fascinating story with a good twist. One of the main characters in this is a woman named Lucretia who has some interesting insights into everyone around her but she isn’t taken seriously because of her personality. She is the only one who notices the truth behind the blind date that another character set her up with. What I loved about this one is how if you scratch the surface of each character in the story you see a different person and that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Deeply Twisted also includes two stories about grave robbers which is a subject that fascinates and disturbs me. The first one is The Angel’s Grave, I loved the character of Duff and how he ends up having to rob graves. He doesn’t have a choice but he has to pay for his sins anyway courtesy of a vengeful spirit. The other story is called Jade, despite having the same subject matter it is a very different story and I loved how the man telling them they shouldn’t be doing this gets called a fool and it shows what happens when you get too greedy.
I can’t think of many bad things to say about Deeply Twisted, Chantal makes each story come to life through spooky imagery and memorable characters. If you love short horror fiction then this is a must have. One thing that made this anthology excellent is how some stories are connected. For instance the story The Widow talks about a ghostly urban legend and the children who don’t believe. I thought this story was good but I didn’t understand the ending. Later in the anthology there was a story called Deeply Twisted that gets into how the legend started and added a lot of depth to The Widow. Reading Deeply Twisted reminded me why I love horror fiction and it also made me want to buy Chantel Noordeloo’s novel Coyote: The Outlander. Horror fans don’t pass this book up.