Black Mirrors by Paul Edwards

Sometimes, and I must stress that it is only sometimes, a nicely worded and polite email asking for a review will tip the balance. Black Mirrors by Paul Edwards is one of those books that slipped past my defences and got itself a place in my review pile.  And I am glad it did.  This is an extremely good collection of 14 short stories that covers a number of styles and themes, which showcase writer with a great deal of talent.  All of the stories are linked by a central theme of mirrors, and reflections.

I’ll admit I had never heard of Paul prior to reading this collection, as it turns out he has been writing horror for a number of years and all but two of these stories are reprints, not that that should put you off as this a collection that you really should check out.  A lot of these short stories could almost be classed as flash fiction, the are  short, sharp, and pack a hell of a punch.

Black Mirror, Mirror Black  is the first story and boy does it do it’s job perfectly.  This is a chilling and creepy story that reaffirms my belief that all clowns, midgets and travelling fairs should be locked up and have the key thrown away.   I used to not like looking in a mirror, and this story makes me want to take every mirror in my house down. 


Other highlights of this collection are End of the Line, where a man’s terrible and shocking secret comes back to haunt him.  “Clickety – clack goes the wheels on the track “, every time I read that line I was reminded of the playground chant that plays through the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.  This was a perfect example of how Edwards can make a seemingly innocent line, turn into one full of menace. 

The Foundling is a wonderfully twisted little story where two old spinsters find a terrible hungry little baby on their doorstep.  


If I was pushed to select one story as a favourite then I would probably have to go with Bleeders.  This is a sparse tale that deals with the problems and emotions that those who go through self harm go through.   Edwards expertly melds what is a deeply emotional story perfectly with the supernatural.  A bleak and powerful story that will send a shiver down your spine. 


Based on the strength of this collection, Paul Edwards is a author who I will most definatly be on the look out for in the future. 

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