Portraits of Dread is a collection of shorts by Michael J. Elliott and no time is wasted getting right to business with the opening story Dinner for Two.  Times are tough when all you want is a satisfying meal, possibly a fine cut of meat, and you find the available menu choices are less than appealing.  Portraits of Dread is a very well written and conceived tale of a women who is given a self-portrait that sets her nerves on edge.  This short makes you feel that danger is constantly and you can feel the threat around each corner as she tries to ignore the image in her portrait.  Michael turns story around in a quick snap and the ending takes a turn I hadn’t expected which is always satisfying.  Defective Goods was just an absolutely fantastic story that completely took me by surprise.  The story leads you down a very well-constructed path and then reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode flips the script.  Nothing is better than not seeing the ending and loving where the story takes you.  There are many fast paced well written stories to enjoy, each with their own little stab of horror to keep you on your toes.  A Glutton for Punishment is this type of story and a really interesting tale where over consumption is deeply frowned upon and the government has taken extreme measures to reduce the strain on society.  This story is a bit of satirical look at our society and our view on those who don’t ‘fit the norm’, the conclusion to the story is a nice little jab at the obsessive nature of humanity.  Portraits of Dread contains a number of really fun shorts that take you by surprise with endings that aren’t expected.

Rating 4/5

Book Info

Length:  146 Pages

Release date:  October 31, 2015

To Purchase Portraits of Dread Click Here

In this collection of twelve stories, Michael J. Elliott examines dread in all it’s many forms,
In MOTHER CALLED TODAY a woman becomes increasingly fearful of her demanding mother’s incessant phone calls. She has a horrible secret about her mother, something she is too scared to share with anyone.
In THE LITTLE MAN ON TOP OF THE WARDROBE Four year old James has always been very good about going to bed but recently he’s been too scared to go to sleep. There is a little man living on top of his wardrobe and it wants his soul.Of course that’s just his overactive childhood imagination….Isn’t it?
In A GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT we visit a future that isn’t too hard to imagine. It’s a world where the overweight are social pariahs, where a government controls their eating and shopping and failure to loose weight after three attempts results in the obese being sent to a detention camp. Lynda Whittaker has just been sent to one such camp and she’s about to learn a horrifying government secret which shows they till have one final use for the overweight.
Portraits Of Dread contains these chillers and more.

Michael J. Elliott, biography

Michael J Elliott was writing stories since his early schooldays and was described by his school principal as “A Second Alfred Hitchcock”. Michael continued his love of writing in high school where he wrote and acted in films for his Media Studies class. He went on to study Media briefly at College, writing film scripts and radio ads. As a member of a community social theatre club, Michael wrote many of the sketches and routines that were performed for the benfit of senior citizens clubs. His most notable writing success was having one of his previously written comedy sketches chosen for a television comedy special.
Michael lives in a bayside suburb in the State of Victoria, Australia. When he isn’t writing tales to terrify readers he enjoys drawing, golden era hollywood movies, reading and cooking as well as looking after his two ‘best mates’, his cats Charlie and Smokey.

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