Title: Gristle & Bone
Author: Duncan Ralston
Page Count/Review Word Count: 272
Disclaimer: Duncan Ralston is published by the Forsaken imprint of Booktrope, the same publisher which released my debut novella, No Rest for the Wicked.
I’m going to say something that shouldn’t be taken lightly – I was impressed by this book. It has all of the hallmarks of a classic collection of horror stories, but with a delightfully modern twist – technology is at its most sinister here, and not only did it give me the heebie jeebies, but also it inspired a short story idea that I’m going to develop myself.
Ralston is a fellow writer on my imprint at Booktrope, and it’s books like this that make me realise just how much talent there is around me – it’s a safe bet that if you put it to the test with members of the public, people would struggle to identify the difference between Ralston, King or Barker, based on the quality of the writing alone. The styles might give it away though, and Duncan certainly has his own unique style, like the secret ingredient that holds his stories together.
I won’t go into the story lines of each of the stories, but what I can tell you is that you can expect seven of them, with the final story in the collection covering almost a third of the pages and serving effectively as a novella. That worked pretty well, because it kept me interested as a reader and it meant that the final story was like a main meal, after six, gory appetisers.