Demonized by Christopher Fowler

Demonized

Christopher Fowler

A collection of clever, edgy 'horror' stories, mostly set in contemporary London. The horror is generally understated and most of the discomfort comes from the apparent ordinariness of the situations in which these extraordinary events occur. There is a subtle underlying vein of knowing, dark humour, which seems to make for an even more unsettling read. However, it was in the sense of anticipation that these stories really got me - there are some great edge-of-the-seat moments.

Extract

He reached the bottom of the steps. His torchbeam reflected a fracturing moon of light; the flagstones were hand-deep in icy water. A series of low stone arches led beneath the ribbed vault of the main chamber. The splash of water boomed in the silent crypt.

With freezing legs and visible breath, he stood motionless, waiting for the ripples to subside. Something was wrong. Gillian might have lost her reason, but she would surely not have ventured down here alone. She knew the rats were good swimmers. It didn't make sense. Something was wrong.

Parallels
  • Walking on Glass by Iain Banks
  • London Bone by Michael Moorcock
  • Tales of the Unexpected by Roald Dahl