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Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
Darker Side Endings 2 by Kelvin Kettle is the second short story collection in the Darker Side Endings series by this author. Darker Side Endings 2 contains six short horror stories of widely varying subject matter. My reaction to these six stories varied as well, from one story which I felt was perhaps a bit below par, to others which prompted a jolt of adrenaline as the “fight or flight” response was triggered merely by reading the stories. Several of the stories had an effect similar to watching a horror movie, in which you are tempted to yell at the movie screen, “DON’T GO IN THERE!!!” All in all, I found this collection to consist of a respectable selection of fine horror shorts. These stories were good enough that I decided to get a copy of the first collection in this series, too. However, when I looked for it I discovered I had already acquired and read it! Reading the review I posted for that one reminded me that I had greatly enjoyed that collection, too.
Darker Side Endings 2 is a good book. The individual tales are also well-conceived and well-written, not unlike his first production. Kettle has a knack for creating a heart-thumping “gotcha” moment in his stories, which is a great thing to have in a horror story. His tales have all the requisite elements to make a story captivating and hard to put down prior to finishing them. His characters are believable and realistic, even when they may require a temporary suspension of disbelief. His “monsters” and “bad guys” are evil and easy to hate, while his victims will make you fear for their safety. Short horror stories are basically my favorite thing to read, and Kelvin Kettle’s Darker Side Endings 2 did not disappoint. I recommend this to anybody who shares my love of the short horror story genre.