Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror, by Matt Drabble, comprises 13 tales of terror inside a tale of terror. Asylum is a very interesting concept. Matt Drabble starts his story by introducing Martin Parcell, the new assistant janitor at Blackwater Heights, a spooky looking old private mental health clinic. Martin was reporting for his first shift – a night shift, of course – on his first job since he was seriously injured in an automobile accident 14 months earlier. Just driving up the desolate, lonely road to Blackwater Heights was creeping him out, as he reflected over the circumstances which had derailed his intended journalism career. He had to keep reminding himself to press down on the accelerator, because subconsciously his foot kept easing up, hoping to delay his arrival at the old, brooding structure. Eventually, though, he found himself inside the building, in the company of Jimmy, the other janitor. Jimmy was a real talker. He liked to talk about the various “residents” of the clinic. He told Martin there were 13 residents, and each one had his own story. Martin thought to himself, maybe there’s a book in this job after all. He asked Jimmy to tell him the stories, so Jimmy took him to each room, one at a time, and told the story of the poor demented soul inside. Martin took careful notes.
Matt Drabble is a master storyteller himself. Each of the 13 Tales of Terror is one of the stories from the 13 residents, all tied together with a brief bit of dialogue between the two janitors. Some of the short stories are very creepy; all of them are very good. And, of course, what’s a spooky story without a surprise ending? Matt is faithful to that tenet, too, as is any good horror writer. Asylum – 13 Tales of Terror is an exceptionally captivating book. If you enjoy having the spit scared out of you, you will definitely like this book. I highly recommend it for all fans of the horror genre.