Book Review: Let There Be Dark by Tim McWhorter

Content Warnings: attempted rape, death, violence

Monsters, ghosts, vengeful spirits, and mankind’s darkest tendencies: welcome to the world of Let There Be Dark, a short story collection by Tim McWhorter. In these pages, you’ll find eight dark tales that will make your skin crawl and your hair stand on end.

A Ph.D. research project takes a twist for the supernatural in “Rope Burns”. A mafia deal becomes a fight for survival in “The Company You Keep”. A couple drunks looking for a scare discover the horrifying story behind a local legend in “The Bridge”. One dark turn follows another (follows another) in “No Saints here”. A struggling farm has a horrific plan for making ends meet in “Pigs”. A pitch-dark haunted house takes fear to new levels in “The Dark Side”. A ski trip goes awry when they encounter a legendary beast on the prowl in “Growing Cold Together”. And finally, an oddities shop seeks to procure the perfect skull at any cost in “Skull Session”.

I was pleased with McWhorter’s ability to make classic horror tropes fresh again. The stories weren’t predictable, which is refreshing after you’ve read a lot (and I’ve read a LOT) of horror. “Growing Cold Together” and “The Dark Side” stood out as particularly good. Sadly, the writing could have used a little more editing, but if you can overlook that, it’s a solid collection. If you enjoy straightforward horror that gets down to your bones, check out Let There Be Dark.

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