Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on November 6, 2013
Genres: Dark Fiction, Fiction, Ghost, Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal, Supernatural
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When a child mysteriously disappears from a small town and even his mother seems indifferent, it’s time for the new sheriff to step in.
Meet Chris Baker, the new sheriff of the quiet Adirondack town of Clifton Heights. As one inexplicable case after another forces him to confront the townsfolk in The Skylark Diner, it’s the furtive Gavin Patchett that hands Chris a collection of not-so-fictional short stories that tumbles him into a world of monsters, ageless demons, and vengeful citizens.
As Chris reads through the stories the veil starts to lift, and he soon questions what is real and what’s not, and whether he really wants to know.
Nothing will ever be the same again.
So welcome to Clifton Heights, New York, an average Adirondack town, and nice enough in its own right. Except after dark, under the pale light of the moon. Or on a road out of town that never ends, or in an old house on the edge of town with a will of its own.
Maybe you shouldn't have left the interstate, my friend. But you saw our sign, turned down our road, figuring on a short stay. And maybe it will be.
Or maybe you'll never leave.
While you’re here, pay a visit to The Skylark Diner. Pull up a chair and I'll tell you about our town. It's nice enough, honestly. Except after dark. Or on cold winter days when you're all alone...
The Clifton Heights Saga include:
Book 2: Through a Mirror, Darkly
Book 3: Devourer of Souls
These collections are also stand-alone titles, and don't have to be read in order.
THINGS SLIP THROUGH (The Clifton Heights Saga Book 1), by Kevin Lucia, contains a series of interconnected events/stories all woven into a larger narrative. The location is the small town of Clifton Heights, NY. We have a group of friends, meeting for their usual Tuesday night card game: Father Ward, teacher Gavin Patchett, “Fitzy” the town’s doctor, and Policeman Chris. As an officer, Chris has seen some “unique” and inexplicable things in his one year of residency in Clifton Heights. Sensing that his friends know much more about this, he decides to trust in their friendship and confront them about the nature of this town.
“. . . Truth. It’s a precious commodity. Especially between friends . . . The problem, however, lies in how much truth do we share? . . . “
It falls upon Gavin (also a writer) to meet Chris at the Skylark Diner. There, he presents to his friend a journal that he keeps, chronicling the “unsolved” crimes and disappearances in Clifton Heights.
What I loved the most about this collection is not only how the stories are entwined within the framework of Chris and Gavin’s talk, but how many of the individual tales cross over into others, connecting them all as if with an invisible thread. In Gavin’s own story, “Way Station”, he eludes to the town as: “. . . An in-between place. A crack between the worlds. A way station, of sorts . . . a place where strange, unexplainable . . . often violent things happen.”
One of the most telling of the tales, in my opinion, is “The Sliding”, chronicling a young Ward, Gavin, and Fitzy trespassing in the local “haunted house”–Bassler House, a key focal point–along with all of Bassler Road–in many of these stories.
“. . . maybe there’s an opening or a rift on the quantum level . . . “
Other personal favorite tales of mine include, “On a Midnight Black Chessie”, “Lament”, and “A Brother’s Keeper”. While these stories clearly define the town of Clifton Heights, along with the resignation and acceptance that its residents show, Chris will learn simply that he has been “called” to this town–a “Guardian” of some sort, without actually knowing what it is he’s being called to do.
“. . . Every decision creates ripples. Every ripple changes things . . . “
An incredible collection that left me wanting to read more about this strange town and its inhabitants. Lucia leaves off whetting the readers’ appetites for more. Regarding Clifton Heights itself: ” . . . As for haunted . . . Depends on your definition of the word.”
About Kevin Lucia
Kevin Lucia is the Reviews Editor for Cemetery Dance Magazine, and he writes a quarterly column “Horror 101” for Lamplight Magazine. His short fiction has appeared in several anthologies.
He’s currently finishing his Creative Writing Masters Degree at Binghamton University, he teaches high school English and lives in Castle Creek, New York with his wife and children.
He is the author of Hiram Grange & The Chosen One, Book Four of The Hiram Grange Chronicles, the short story collection Things Slip Through, the novella duet Devourer of Souls, and the novella quartet Through A Mirror, Darkly. He’s currently working on his first novel.
Visit www.kevinlucia.com. Follow him at either https://www.facebook.com/kblucia or https://www.facebook.com/authorkevinlucia.
I am an avid reader/reviewer of books--primarily horror, thriller, supernatural, and mystery.