By S.H. Cooper
Sometimes, the more you read from a particular writer, the more you want to read from them. And when they prove themselves capable of writing in different styles, different genres, with different characters, that need grows. S.H. Cooper has proved herself in short stories, novellas, and full-length novels, in adult horror and YA Fantasy, and it was an absolute delight to go back and read her first published collection of stories, The Corpse Garden.
Many of these stories were originally published on the popular subreddit NoSleep. They offer first person accounts of often realistic horror, tales you can fully believe in, whether or not they have supernatural elements. The characters presented here are believable and engaging, immediately drawing you in with their first-person accounts and each with their own voice.
The stories in this collection range from heart-warming, to creepy, to heart-breaking. Each story stands out, and will, without a doubt, remain in the reader’s mind for a while after putting the book down.
“Murder in Miniature” is a unique story about a serial killer.
“Don’t Look For Lacey Lynn” takes the game of Bloody Mary to another level, and “The Murder In My Backyard” shows just how loyal crows can be.
But my personal favourites have to be among the last stories in this collection. “Offerings” is a twisting, riveting tale about a woman providing life advice on the radio, and the mysterious gifts she receives.
“I Buried My Fiancé on Our Wedding Day” details the aftermath for an almost-widow, as she surveys the memories left in her house. And “My Wife Left Me”, the last in the collection, is a wonderfully written story of a relationship in its last days, and left this reader more than a little heartbroken.
The Corpse Garden is a strong collection of stories, with each one hitting the mark. If this has slipped under your radar, I highly suggest correcting that. For a first time collection, it’s really strong, and Cooper has only continued to go from strength to strength since its release.
Review by Elle Turpitt
I purchased this book.