THE COLD BLUE COLLECTION

By Peter Tennant

Reviewed by Mario Guslandi

Peter Tennant? I am positive: I've already read something by him and so did you. I can't put my finger on a precise book nor pinpoint the title of a story, but the name does ring a bell (and the bell tells: category “good writers”). So it's nice to find some of his fiction collected in this booklet from D Press, nicely illustrated by Carole Humphreys. There are just four quite short tales plus a very brief vignette filled with black humour (“Sexual politics”).

“The thing in the park” is a sketchy portrait of a man whose life has become a failure. The horror waiting for him at the end of the park is symbolic and terribly real at the same time.

In “The postman's tale” a mysterious house, the very existence of which is uncertain, attracts the morbid interest of the postman who delivers the daily mail. The secret will be finally solved when a bulky parcel requires to be delivered right into the house...

“Water baby” is by far the best story . A visit to the local cemetery by a young man now living in another town brings back unpleasant memories of school days and of a nasty teacher recently deceased. An act of contempt on the teacher's tombstone will result in a terrible vengeance from the other side of the grave. Incidentally, this is the first horror story I ever read in which terror erupts from a toilet bowl...

“The object of the experiment” is an interesting piece of narrative where human subjects are submitted to psychological ordeals in the attempt to modify their basic nature. Somehow the ending seems to promise something else to come. Is there a sequel scheduled or the story is the first chapter of a forthcoming novel?

Tennant proves to be a fine writer, endowed with a natural gift for storytelling, who should be more daring and definitely try his hand at some harder literary endeavour. I'm sure he will succeed.


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