“Glimpses: The Best Stories of Rick Hautala” is a meaty collection of short stories that runs the gamut of horror themes, from futuristic terror to more supernatural scares. The first story, “Schoolhouse,” sets the tone for the book—when a man returns to his childhood schoolhouse, long since closed, it brings back a lot of bad memories—and there’s something waiting for him inside that he’s tried to forget. It has an unexpected twist at the end, which is the hallmark of these stories.
From a world where babies are born without fingerprints (or souls) to a future where the Pro-Life faction has gotten the upper hand in a brutal way to what really happens when you disturb a dead man’s grave, the stories are fast-paced and end with a shock. Three of the stories especially stood out to me as a horror fan—in the first, “True Glass,” a man finds an window frame put out for the trash and takes it home for his shed—and what he sees through it is fascinating but may eventually drive him mad. The second, “The Back of My Hands,” is first-person horror at its finest, the tension slowly building and leaving you with images you won’t forget of a brother’s desperation and jealousy. The last of my favorites in the anthology is a bit different, and definitely gentler—in “Over the Top,” a girl and her grandfather visit a cemetery in search of the Fair Folk, seeking a life-or-death favor from the magical beings.
At almost 300 pages, “Glimpses” is a rock-solid horror story anthology for fans of the genre, with a little something for everyone. As an added bonus, if you’re a reader who likes to be scared but doesn’t care for graphic gore, you’ll be happy with this one—while its stories are intense, they rely on tightly-crafted stories and suspense rather than blood and violence. A fantastic, must-have collection for every horror fan!
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