Richard Chizmar – A Long December Review

Genre: Horror
Length: 530 Pages
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Release date: October 31st 2016
Synopsis: Eerie, suspenseful, poignant, the stories in A Long December range from horror to suspense, crime to dark fantasy, mainstream to mystery.

As New York Times bestselling author Scott Smith (A Simple Plan, The Ruins) notes: “It’s an idyllic little world Richard Chizmar has created. Boys fish in the shallows of a winding creek. A father tosses a baseball with his young son in the fading light of a summer day. There’s the smell of fresh-cut grass. And then, well…just beneath the surface? There are those missing pets whose collars turn up in a shoebox. Or the disturbing photos the dead can leave behind. Or the terrible thing you might find yourself doing when a long lost brother suddenly returns, demanding money. Chizmar does a tremendous job of peeling back his world’s shiny layers, revealing the rot that lies underneath. His stories feel like so many teeth: short and sharp and ready to draw blood”.

My Review-

I read a lot of high praise for this collection when it was released. Sadly, it took me far to long to open this book. But, when I did I was more than pleased, and far from disappointment. I loved this collection as much as I was hoping too and it lived up the hype. The stories were excellent, smoothly written and the story telling was some of the best I’ve come across. Richard Chizmar doesn’t just put words to paper, he arranges them with precision, and tells a hell of a story.

The stories read naturally and with a flow that makes them fly by. There are many that end with the ‘gotcha’ twist that I found fantastic. The title story, A Long December, is one of the longer tales, it was also one of my favorites. Blood Brothers, The Man with X-Ray Eyes, The Box, Ditch Treasures, After the Bombs, and Grand Finale also rank highly with me, these were some of my other favorites. With thirty-five stories in this book I won’t mention them all, but I will say I would highly recommend this book. Now I’m eagerly awaiting Richard’s new book, The Long Way Home.

Link to purchase A Long December

Richard Chizmar, biography

Richard Chizmar is the author of Gwendy’s Button Box (with Stephen King) and A Long December, which was nominated for numerous awards. His fiction has appeared in dozens of publications, including Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and multiple editions of The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. He has won two World Fantasy awards, four International Horror Guild awards, and the HWA’s Board of Trustee’s award. His third short story collection, A Long December, was recently published to starred reviews in both Kirkus and Booklist, and was featured in Entertainment Weekly. Chizmar’s work has been translated into many languages throughout the world, and he has appeared at numerous conferences as a writing instructor, guest speaker, panelist, and guest of honor. Please visit the author’s website at RichardChizmar.com.


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