Lee MURRAY is New Zealand’s leading author, whose work has enveloped my To Be Read pile for years, ever since I “bumped into her” by coincidence at a meeting of the Tauranga Writers Group, to which she has contributed so much by way of encouragement to developing writers.
When Lee was kind enough to send me Grotesque: Horror Stories – no strings attached – I paused before diving right in, in order to do it justice by having no distractions.
What an eclectic mix of the macabre! The eleven stories each carry themselves along in their own unique way, leaving the reader to assume nothing, and to be disturbed by each tale in their own right.
Her stories are rooted in history and the myths of Aotearoa – New Zealand, and its legends. New twists on known legends give each story a credible thread of reality – even as we read of Taniwha, Hawaiki, and the legendary New Zealand character Maui*.
Old threads are twisted into new cords of magic and horror. Familiar places become surreal. The comfortable becomes decidedly uncomfortable.
On concluding my reading, I felt compelled to revisit so many of the stories, just to convince myself of Murray’s new take on what (some) had been childhood memories – and each baca me more real than the originals.
A truly breath-taking collection, and thoroughly engrossing.
Highly recommended reading.
PRAISE FOR ‘GROTESQUE: HORROR STORIES’ comes from Jonathan Mayberry, NY Times bestselling author; USA Today bestselling author, David Wood; award winning author Rena Mason; Bram Stoker award winning author, Tom Deady; award-winning author and HWA Lifetime Achievement author Linda D Addison; and Aaron Sterns, author.
PRAISE FOR LEE MURRAY: comes from Jonathan Mayberry; Christine Morgan; Sci-fi and Scary; Greig Beck; Tor.com; Tim Wagonner; and World Horror Master, Michael Collings.
This collection first published 2020, by Steve Dillon, a Things In the Well publication.
ISBN: 9798611527153 (softcover);2370000771650 (Ingram)
Cover art © Greg Chapman, 2020
* Not to be assumed to be the Disney animated Maui!