13 Views of the Suicide Woods
By Bracken MacLeod
Published by Haverhill House Publishing
These stories inhabit the dark places where pain and resignation intersect, and the fear of a quiet moment alone is as terrifying as the unseen thing watching from behind the treeline. In the titular story, a young woman waits for her father to come home from the place where no one goes intending to return. A single word is the push that may break a man and save a life. The members of a winemaking community celebrate the old-time religion found flowing in the blood of the vine. A desperate man seeking a miracle cure gets more than a peek behind the curtain of Dr. Morningstar’s Psychic Surgery. A child who dreams of escaping on leather wings finds rescue in dark water instead. Looking back over a life, a homeless veteran must decide to live in the present if he wants to save his future. In a Halloween Hell house, a youth pastor must face the judgment of a man committed to doing the Lord’s work. Fiery death heralds the beginning of a new life. A man who has been carrying pain with him his entire life gives up his last piece of darkness. And a still day beneath the sun illuminates the quiet sorrow of the last feather to fall.
Praise for 13 Views of the Suicide Woods:
“This is a beautifully written collection of dark stories. Real horrors and real monsters are to be found here, with nary a vampire, werewolf, or zombie in sight, thank god. MacLeod’s terrors are all too human, and extremely disturbing. Highest recommendation for those who like psychological horror, noir crime, or just damned good writing.”
— Chet Williamson, author of ASH WEDNESDAY and ROBERT BLOCH’S PSYCHO: SANITARIUM
“In Bracken MacLeod’s first collection, 13 Views of the Suicide Woods, the writer behind Stoker-nominee Stranded and the novel Mountain Home presents 19 stories that are a little too genre-gritty to be “literary”, but also too literary to be full-on genre fare. MacLeod straddles the line between brutal violence — the don’t-assume-hippies-are-pacifists “Blood Makes the Grass Grow” — and haunting melancholy — the near-flash piece “Khatam” that closes the book. When the supernatural comes into the story — it doesn’t always — it’s seamless and unobtrusive, almost as if it’s expected to be there. In other words, if Jim Thompson or Shane Stevens were to write the current genre-darling of the reading class, magic realism, they might write something like 13 Views of the Suicide Woods.”
— Paul Michael Anderson, author of BONES ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN
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