Skeletons In The Attic book cover by Michael Gore
Book Reviews,  Guest Reviews

Guest Review: Skeletons In The Attic by Michael Gore

Today we welcome Madeline Irish to Horror After Dark with a guest review!

Madeline is a reader, writer, lover, and dirty fighter. By day, she is a YA librarian in a town near Salem, Massachusetts; by night, she splits her hours between reading fabulous horror, suspense, and psychological fiction, deconstructing horror movies and wondering why she didn’t major in film criticism. She enjoys cooking things she will always add more salt to once they are on the table.

Thanks for joining us, Madeline!


Synopsis

With fifteen dark and twisted tales, the mortician is back to terrify you once again. The author of the hit horror anthology, Tales From a Mortician, has masterfully weaved a new collection that will turn your stomach, having you checking under your bed, locking your doors and leave the lights on as you read. From finding a body in your parent’s attic to, serial killers, cannibals, werewolves, gut wrenching Halloween tricks and even a sweet old lady who kills dozens, Skeletons is sure to terrify, disgust and enthrall everyone who dares to read it.

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Madeline’s Review

Skeletons in the Attic, the follow-up horror collection to Gore’s Tales from a Mortician, is a fun, wild carnival ride. Of the fifteen tales, a number stand out as being not only unique in their approach but in their genre-bending as well.

Time Lock” is classic horror: a wealthy recluse sends his staff away each full moon so that he can prepare for a gruesome event, but this time, one of his loyal servants stays behind.

The Jogging Path is a spine-tingling creeper, following the development and evolution of a serial killer with step-by-step detail. Another serial killer tale, however, tackles the trope from another angle: in Ripe“, a woman who is forced into committing her first murder out of sheer survival learns that she has a real taste for poisoning deserving victims, and when a kindred spirit stumbles upon her activity, the result is a love story unlike any a reader has experienced.

Gore’s specialty appears to be his ability to draw readers into his tales with just a few sentences. Opening sentences include:

“It took twenty-seven days before anyone found my body.” (Waiting)
“It all started with an innocent mistake.” (Time is Everything)
“The blood started to coagulate on the table.” (Drip)
and of course, for the most bizarre tale of the bunch, “Do you like pork rinds?” (Delicious Flesh)

For the most part, Gore is a spinner of realistic-horror tales. A few mystical beings and events appear here and there, but a reader could chock those up to a sprinkling of magical realism. Gore’s horror is centered on everyday experiences of terror, and it works. One particular gem is “The Loss,” which follows an introverted yarn company employee who befriends a co-worker. When the companionship develops into love but his crippling social anxiety hinders their relationship, the man must face his demon—literally—in an attempt to break free from the cycle of fear.

Two other stories are delightfully disturbing and will scare the pants off of readers with children: “Leroy” focuses on an isolated maintenance worker whose obsession with the teenage girls in the building he cleans consumes his every thought, and “Four Halloweens” follows an overworked single mother as she accompanies her young son trick-or-treating only to fall headlong into a cycle of psychological torture even childless readers will find terrifying.

Skeletons is an excellent follow-up to Gore’s previous collection. His tales are just as unique and creative as they were in Mortician’s, and they are sure to please anyone with their engaging storylines, eerie detail and, of course, delicious GORE.

About The Author

Michael Gore was born in a small town in New England.  His earliest memory is of his father standing above him with a bloody knife.  Being that his father was a butcher, he was around blood and raw meat his entire childhood.  It is probably why at a young age he was fascinated with dead animals and even ended up in therapy at the age of nine for “finding out what made them tick.”.  After that he learned to keep his curiosity to himself.  

At sixteen he was a horror film fanatic.  Not only did he watch every slasher film he could get his hands on, he took it a step farther and got a job at a local funeral home, even though he already worked sixteen hours a week cleaning intestines for his father to make sausage out of.  After several years of cleaning up the funeral home  they let him assist in the embalming practice.  This only fed into his appetite for the macabre.  

Though his father wanted him to take over the butcher shop, Michael decided to play with human flesh instead of animals.  In 2000 he graduated from Mortuary School and secured employment as a mortician.   

Now, in-between draining bodies of blood, Michael spends his time writing.  When asked why he writes such dark things he only replied with,  “to keep me from doing them in real life.” 

Visit his website here: http://gore.authormike.com/Michael_Gore/Welcome.html

Laurie

Scary books make everything so much better! I've been reading them since I was a wee, weird little thing and grew up with a steady diet of King, Koontz, Barker, and Brite and will read and watch anything with a hint of darkness.

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