Review: Gristle and Bone by Duncan Ralston

Book Description:

Short and novella-length dark fiction from the twisted imagination of Duncan Ralston. BABY TEETH After doctors tell her she can’t be pregnant, Candace learns that not every child is a gift. BEWARE OF DOG Disgraced soldier Dean Vogel returns to his hometown and confronts the bullies, and a horrifying event, from his past. VIRAL A reporter uncovers what really happened to the latest internet sensation, a troubled girl who disappeared on camera. ARTIFACT (#37) Gonzo pornographers learn a brutal lesson following a tragedy they inadvertently caused when life imitated “art.” //END USER Anti-social conspiracy theorist Mason Adler’s life is turned upside-down when he begins receiving eerily personal and prophetic spam that could be heralding the Apocalypse. FAT OF THE LAND A couple discovers the secret of a tourist town’s prosperity may lie in its sinfully delicious cuisine. SCAVENGERS When successful restaurant owners Jim and Leanne Taymor confess to a grisly series of small town murders, their neighbor learns the gruesome truth that led them to kill. In Knee High, Nebraska, someone–or something–has been stalking household pets in the dead of night… but would they rather be hunting us?

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Duncan Ralston’s Gristle and Bone is a book of 7 short and novella-length horror tales. Stories include, “Baby Teeth,” “Beware of Dog” and “Fat of the Land” and each tale offers something different for every kind of horror fan, Some will turn your stomach and break your heart while others are more psychological.

While I enjoyed each of these stories, I think my personal favorites were “Baby Teeth,” “//End User,” and “Fat of the Land.”

“Baby Teeth” is the story of a couple who are in love, but find out they are unable to have children. This revelation drives them apart until one night, something strange happens. Things get a little more weird as the story unfolds and this one ends in a way I never saw coming.

“//End User” is an apocalyptic tale like none you’ve ever read before. It’s a creepy and heartbreaking tale of the end of the world and one man’s realization that it’s all coming to an end.

“Fat of the Land” showcases a couple of characters that most of us probably know or at least have met at one time or another. The couple finds themselves in a horrifying situation and despite their problems, work together to try to find a way out.

Although this isn’t my first Duncan Ralston book, this is my favorite so far. The man knows how to write characters and to me, that’s the most important part of any horror book – characters readers can relate to. If you’ve never read Ralston before, this book is the perfect introduction to his work. I think the world of horror fiction is a better place with Ralston in it, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

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