BOOK REVEIW: Full Throttle by Joe Hill

'Tis the season to be spooky and this latest collection of short stories from Joe Hill arrives just in time for Samhain. One of the finest purveyors of literary frights and delights in modern times, his third collection of economically paced tales of evil sees the scribe in vintage form throughout as he reflects on wrong choices and even worse consequences.

Peppering proceedings with a little black humour (hey, a few tickled rather than tortured ribs every now and again are always a welcome chaser for the scares ahead) Full Throttle is a proverbial feast fans of horror and suspense.

Featuring 13 (of course!) stories plus some "behind the scenes" bonus content, the reading experience is a little like rummaging round inside the cranium of a crooked politician-unsettling, darkly entertaining and crammed with a wealth of car crash moments that you can't look away from. Currently the toast of Tinsel Town (his must read novel NOS4A2 is now a hugely entertaining TV show and his seminal comic series Locke & Key is set to be Netflix's next big thing) there's a brace of tales in this very tomb that have been adapted for the small screen that will probably garner the most attention.

In the Tall Grass (written alongside his father Stephen King) is now currently a movie on the aforementioned streaming service starring scream king (yeah, that's a thing…) Patrick Wilson and By The Silver Water Of Lake Champlain has been turned into an episode for the newly revived Creepshow franchise (fun fact, Hill himself briefly appeared in the original 80s schlock fest). The former is an unflinchingly nasty nugget that will give anyone who's ever gotten lost nightmares for weeks, while the latter is like eating a bag of Skittles dipped in poison-a sweet but ultimately deadly affair….

Elsewhere, All I Care About Is You showcases his skills at writing sci fi and is a Black Mirror episode waiting to happen, Faun is a fun slice of Lewis Carroll-indebted fantasy, while the ingenious, tweet told Twittering From The Circus Of The Dead is akin to a bite-size take on George Romero's debut movie (emphasis on the bite…). Best of all is Late Returns, a tale of love, loss and missing library books which will linger in the memory long after it's 50 odd pages are finished.

Edwin McFee

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