Every year since 1987 the Horror Writers Association (HWA) presents the Bram Stocker Award in recognition of superior horror writing. I browse the list of nominees and choose one or two to read every year.
This year, I choose one that was on the preliminary ballot, but sadly not the final one. Body of Christ: A Novella by Mark Matthews*, in my humble opinion, should have made the final ballot!
Perhaps it is my Catholic upbringing, but horror with overt religious tones scares me the best! This story is a terrifying twisting of sacrament and the comfort faith can bring in the face of death. The more gruesome aspects of the tale complete the squirm factor. I really don’t want to say more because you really have to read it for yourself to understand the depth of disquiet this story brings. The characters will compel you to simultaneously cheer for them and be repelled, it’s a delicious roller coaster ride of horror from every direction.
I thought about this story long after I finished it. I’m not easily scared off, but at a couple of points, I was asking myself if I could go on. I’m so glad I did because the ending left me slack-jawed and wanting more .
4 out of 5 black hearts! I’ll be looking for more from this author for sure.
Until next time, Never Turn Off the Lights!