A man waiting in a tower to be killed by an Albanian sworn virgin as part of a blood vendetta. A mythical Irish puca who refuses to take no as a response to his presence. A man obsessed with a long-dead woman in an Impressionist painting. A boy haunted by what might have happened to a woman pulled dead from a lake.
Everything is sharply observed and tightly woven, with a heavy dash of psychological suspense. The four stories in this mini collection create an undertow that the reader cannot escape. With an acute eye for both the phases of life and varying mental states, Zoë Beck has created an unforgettable array of compelling stories about people who find themselves enmeshed in situations beyond their control.
In addition to her thrillers, Beck is an accomplished master of the short story, with her uncanny knack for compressing shifting interpersonal constellations into small prose jewels. Her cool, direct, unsentimental, and precise language makes Beck’s unique contemporary twist on timeless themes all the more apparent.
This volume also includes the first two chapters of Beck’s new thriller, Fade to Black, which will be published by Weyward in Spring 2017.
$2.99 (via Amazon)
“The feel of these tales confirms what I consider the best definition of the delicate art of short fiction: The author becomes a frame for what is seen beyond the window, practically at a single glance. Excellent, all stories.” — Thomas Adcock, novelist and Edgar Allan Poe Award winner
“Each of the four stories- “A Contented Man”, “Rapunzel”, “Still Waters”, and “Flann, the Púca”- showcases Beck’s talent for crafting quietly horrifying tales, be they stories of obsession, blood feuds, or creatures out of folklore. They are told without embellishment, building up slowly but inexorably to disturbing ends.” – Rachel S. Cordasco, Bookishly Witty
“These four short stories of tightly-woven psychological suspense don’t take so very long to read, but their dark echoes reverberate for days thereafter.” – Rowena Hoseason, Murder, Mayhem & More