Dark Fringe Anthology – Shaun Baines

*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb: Banished to the dark fringes of our world, they wait for a chance to return.

They are the newlyweds who bring death into their bed.
The farmer who saw a woman made of birds.
Or the children who want their parents to behave.

But how can we escape them when they are already here?

Dark Fringe Anthology is the first collection of thriller, crime and suspense short stories by Shaun Baines. If you like surprising twists with a fast pace, you’ll love this dark anthology from a People’s Book Prize listed author.

“Every time I knew where a tale was headed, I was taken down a different road.” B. Baskerville, DCI Cooper series

Explore the mysterious world of Dark Fringe today!

This collection of twelve short stories has a little bit of everything dark: some horror, some mystery, some mythical or paranormal, some psychological.

With very different topics – ranging from an abusive relationship, a police procedural, a post-apocalyptic scenario, and a couple of childhood escapades, amongst others – what all of the stories share is a darkness of tone over darkness of content. So you won’t find a heavy reliance on shocks or gore here. Instead there is an insidious, creeping feeling of wrongness that permeates each story and can make even a smiling girlfriend (‘To Cheshire, With Love’) or a business transaction (‘The Contract’) into a thing of fear and horror.

Shaun Baines toys with reader expectations throughout, walking the fine line between the normal and paranormal, and throwing in unexpected twists. I read the book from beginning to end (these are mostly quite short, short stories!) in a constant state of tension and suspense, that was induced quite subtly but quickly built to intense levels.

Not overwhelmingly dark, but definitely dabbling around the fringes of it, I would recommend this collection as the perfect seasonal reading for those who like to feel disturbed by subtle, psychological horror, rather than bludgeoned by lumbering monsters and lashings of viscera.

As time passed, I came to realise I was trapped in the body of another person. I saw with her eyes and heard through her defective ears. I was dragged wherever she led me with as little say as an aged animal on the end of a chain. How I got here, I can not say. I am a prisoner and I am attempting to escape.

I woke to my awareness like a new born without a name so I christened myself. I’m called Inside Dog.

– Shaun Baines, from ‘Beneath Her Skin’ in Dark Fringe Anthology

Find more from Shaun Baines at his website here, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Dark Fringe Anthology is available on Amazon right now.

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