I loved this horror short story collection by C.J. Tudor! Several of the stories are set in a post-apocalyptic world, and the author pulls you into each story with realistic details but then capably takes you in a new direction.
End of the Liner
In an apocalyptical future, most of humanity has survived on cruise ships, for those who had been rich enough to afford to do so. Fifty years have passed on a Disney-esque ship, and Leila reminisces about her rebel daughter Addison who abandoned the ship and tried to make it to shore, not knowing what awaited her there. Leila and the other survivors are forced to conform and are always watched, but are given an unrealistic but safe environment. When Addison reappears to whisk Laila away to land, Laila realizes perhaps the artificiality of the ship is better than the hard reality of life on shore.
A group of foolish British teens break into an abandoned apartment building and discover an otherworldly horror.
A widowed man reminisces about his courtship years in the 1970s and how he and his girlfriend (later wife) would frequent a blues bar for the music. An unlikely musician befriends them, and the couple later suspects the singer of killing his girlfriend when she cheats on him. There is a twist at the end, but wait, there is yet another nasty surprise in the last paragraph!
A narcissistic realtor thinks he has the deal of a century when he believes an old man will sell his property to him to be redeveloped. There is an odd reveal at the end, and I was unsatisfied with how this young man seemed to escape justice.
The Lion at the Gate
A group of teens see a lion mural and discover it comes to life. Not all the friends survive.
Gloria is a character found in the book The Hiding Place written earlier by the author. She is a hit-woman who retains a bit of morality, although the ending is ambiguous as to what decision she will make regarding her newest assignment. This story makes me want to check out the novel!
I’m Not Ted
This story has a Twilight Zone vibe, as a man is given chance after chance to make the right decision.
A widowed father is invited to a country estate by an old college friend and he and his blind daughter join his friends in this murder mystery story. The father and daughter duo are hiding a very dark secret.
The Copy Shop
An unsatisfied wife discovers a special shop that makes copies that are even better than the original. I was pleased that this story was on the lighthearted side, instead of giving the reader an ugly conclusion.
A seaside vacation for a jilted woman turns out to be quite hellish, as a dark reason for her being there is revealed.
In a post-apocalyptic world, some survivors think a nearby island might be the sanctuary they need. Two boatloads of adventurers head out, but of course, the island is not what they expected. The survivors are faced with a no-win situation and grapple with the few choices left to them. The author indicated that she plans to turn this unfinished short story into a novella. I was intrigued- so I hope she does asap.
I love discovering new (to me) authors, so I will certainly be checking out other books by her!