Title: Dark Screams: Volume Four
Authors: Clive Barker, Ed Gorman, and Heather Graham
Publisher: Hydra (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: August 4, 2015
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours
Clive Barker, Heather Graham, Lisa Morton, Ray Garton, and Ed Gorman lead readers down a twisted labyrinth of terror, horror, and suspense in Dark Screams: Volume Four, from Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar of the revered Cemetery Dance Publications.
THE DEPARTED by Clive Barker
On All Hallows’ Eve, a dead and disembodied mother yearns to touch her young son one last time. But will making contact destroy them both?
CREATURE FEATURE by Heather Graham
What could be better publicity for a horror convention than an honest-to-goodness curse? It’s only after lights out that the hype—and the Jack the Ripper mannequin—starts to feel a little too real.
THE NEW WAR by Lisa Morton
Mike Carson is a war hero and a decorated vet. He doesn’t deserve to be trapped in a hospital with some black thing sitting on his chest as patients die all around him. His only hope is to take out the nurse—before it’s his turn.
SAMMY COMES HOME by Ray Garton
It’s what every family prays for: a lost pet returning home. But when Sammy, the Hale family sheepdog, appears on their doorstep, he brings back something no parent would ever wish upon his or her child.
THE BRASHER GIRL by Ed Gorman
Cindy Marie Brasher is the prettiest girl in the Valley, and Spence just has to have her. Unfortunately, Cindy has a “friend” . . . a friend who tells her to do things . . . bad things.
Praise for Dark Screams: Volume Four
“Collectively, Volume Four constitutes the most cohesive, narratively enriching and entertaining Dark Screams entry to date. Be it the presence of genre icons Barker and Morton, stories from the lesser-known but equally talented Garton and Gorman, or the pure fun of Graham’s tale, fans of horror of every variety will find something to love in these pages.” — LitReactor
“The best of the bunch so far.” — Examiner.com
“Stacks up well with any of the other three books so far [with] a fairly good variety in the kinds of horror stories too . . . If you’re new to the series, this is a good jumping-on point.” — Wagging the Fox
“Dark Screams is one of the best values on the horror market. . . . Do yourself a favor, and pick it up.” — Adventures Fantastic
I'll break down my review of Dark Screams Volume Four by short story to make things simple.
The Departed by Clive Barker
This story was not at all what I had expected from Clive Barker. I've read some of this other work, which was mostly horror-laced fantasy, but The Departed was about a single mother who is coping wtih her new status as a ghost. It affected me emotionally, as I also spent several years as a single mother myself. That emotional reaction to this story was the most unexpected thing of all, and this was my favorite story in the collection.
The New War by Lisa Morton
Alzheimer's Disease and dementia are no strangers to my family, so what Mike experiences in The New War is especially terrifying to me. (I would hate for my mind to betray me.) This piece was more psychological horror and definitely what I prefer in the genre.
Sammy Comes Home by Ray Garton
I really don't like horror (or any fiction, for that matter) centered on animals, so I only skimmed. Sammy Comes Home wasn't too awful, animalwise, but it earned its horror classification.
The Brasher Girl by Ed Gorman
I don't really like horror based around brainwashing or serial killing (though this wasn't quite either), but mix in enough psychological mind-fuckery, and I'm on board. The Brasher Girl would make a great slasher B-movie marketed for that 18-25 market.
Creature Feature by Heather Graham
I've read two or three of Graham's Krewe of Hunters novels, but I don't remember any of the characters right off. I do remember liking Graham's writing style, and Creature Feature is just as good. In fact, it was spectacularly creepy and reminded me that I really need to read her other books.
All things considered, Dark Screams Volume Four is the best I've read from the Dark Scream series. If you're looking for just a taste of horror in small doses, this is exactly what you should try.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | iTunes
Follow the Tour
Dark Screams Tour Schedule
Tuesday, August 4th
It’s a Mad Mad World
Wednesday, August 5th
Wag the Fox
Thursday, August 6th
From the TBR Pile
Friday, August 7th
Tuesday, August 11th
No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, August 12th
Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, August 17th
Mallory Heart Reviews
Tuesday, August 18th
The Reader’s Hollow
Wednesday, August 19th
W.A.R.G. – The Writers, Artists & Readers Guild
Thursday, August 27th
Friday, August 28th
Read Love Blog
Saturday, August 29th
A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, September 8th
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance digital copy of the novel from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.