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Book Reviews: The Best Horror Of The Year Volume 4, part 2 + Bleeding Out

The Best Horror Of The Year Volume 4 edited by Ellen Datlow

Blackwood’s Baby

A group of hunters venture into the forest. But they’re not doing the hunting, they’re being hunted. Okay.

A man hooks up with a woman at a party and learns her secret. Dull.

The Show
A TV psychic learns her powers aren’t fake after all. This is creepy and very good.

Mulberry Boys
A freaky tale of an isolated community. Okay.

Roots And All
Two cousins come to clean out their dead grandmother’s house. They learn the secrets of the rural community and the price to be paid. Very good.

Final Girl Theory
A man sees the star of a famous horror movie on the street. Excellent.

A decidedly unwholesome family go camping. Disturbing.

Horrors lurk in the everyday of their job. Okay.

Black Feathers
A girl wants magic to take away her horrible little brother. Magic does come but not in the way she wanted. Good.

The Final Verse
Two men look for the missing verse of a beloved folk song. Good.

In The Absence of Murdock
Terrible story about something weird in a bungalow.

You Become The Neighborhood
A mother tells her daughter the long ago story of a terrible night. Good.

Best Line:
I am sitting with my mother in front of our childhood home – the one we left for the last time in an ambulance, with my mother in restraints and screaming – and we’re laughing.”

In Paris, In The Mouth Of Kronos
Two disgraced soldiers accept an assignment. Good.

Little Pig
A woman tries to get her children across a forest. Okay.

The Ballad of Ballard and Sandine
A bizarre tale of a decadent couple who seem to be in hell. Okay.

Bleeding Out by Jes Battis

The final ‘OSI’ novel. This is a bizarre tale of how Tess Corday has a confrontation that changes her life and how she learns big secrets. Tess also has several stream of consciousness rambles. This is a good if bizarre finale to the ‘OSI’ saga.

Best Lines:
“Hellraiser taught me that pointy boxes are just bad news.”

“First you show up at a crime scene, then you start selling drugs. This is the kind of story that conservative moms love to hear.”
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