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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
Grimlock Cove is a far cry from the picture of an idyllic, peaceful small town. Founded by the elusive Grimlock family, the town has witnessed many bizarre occurrences over the years. Why is it that an outsider disappears from Grimlock Cove every six years? Why does the Grimlock Memorial Hospital have an unusually high mortality rate? Why does nobody ever check out from The Red Water Motel? What secrets hide in the dark crannies of St. Julian’s Catholic Church? Why do people keep disappearing from a particular fairground? Why does the Grimlock Gazette report the mutilated bodies to be the work of a wolf pack? Find out the answers in Tales from Grimlock Cove: Volume 1, an anthology by Oscar Whiting.
I loved the backdrop of a secluded town where evil lurked in every corner. From decrepit churches to abandoned fairgrounds and strange hospitals to haunted motels, Whiting weaves his macabre tales with acute perfection. He shows a many-faced evil, manifesting throughout the years as bloodthirsty witches, hooded killers, or masked devils, whispering incessantly into the ears of the weakened souls. Sometimes, the fine line between good and evil disappears, making them both sides of the same coin. Whom we initially deem wicked turns out to have good intentions, whereas dark forces masquerade as benevolent friends. Many of the stories have themes of empowerment and retribution. Some stories, like The Halloween Miracle, horrify us with grisly details. The Red-Eye to Nowhere and The Forgotten Fairgrounds make us feel stuck in a timeless loop. We helplessly watch as a doomed future awaits the characters in The Stranger in My Phone and The Wolves and the Sheep. My favorite by far is The Provenance, which portrays the rebirth of a gritty heroine. I recommend Tales from Grimlock Cove: Volume 1 to every horror-lover.