So you go on a hot date, pull that buff stranger, then while your new flame is in the bathroom one of his dogs tells you that your new boyfriend is a serial killer and that there is a really sharp knife in the drawer of the bedside table. What’s a girl to do?
Rose’s fate in The Dogs by Scott Smith is just one of the dilemmas faced by the people caught up in the tales that go to make up Dark Cities a collection of 19 short stories from our good friends at Titan Books all about the malicious ghosts, vengeful demons and cursed buildings that make up the malevolent side of our urban environment.
I absolutely loved The Dogs which opened the proceedings and the pace didn’t really let up as I explored cities that were transit stations for ghosts (The Way She is With Strangers by Helen Marshall), traps for lost souls (In Stone by Tim Lebbon and Dear Diary by Scott Sigler), places where school visits go horribly wrong (Field Trip by Tananarive Due) and places where monster killers (What I’ve Always Been by Amber Benson) and spectral detectives merge with the faceless population (Grit by Jonathan Maberry).
Aside from Dogs the other real gems were The Stillness by Ramsey Campbell which puts a new slant of the living statues that plague town centres, The Revellers by the volume’s editor Christopher Golden where a warehouse party literally swallows up it’s guests and The Society of Monsterhood by Paul Tremblay where I found myself cheering on the geeky scholarship kids as they take their revenge on their abusing neighbours, they got what they deserved.
A very entertaining anthology that will both chill and thrill I give Dark Cities a big 555/666.
Dark Cities is published by Titan Books price £8.99 UK