Meg and Harry have lost a baby. Looking for a fresh start, they move to a cottage on the northeast coast of England. Harry continues working, but Meg needs time to heal. She spends her days gardening and exploring the ancient shoreline. On one of her walks, she comes across an old mine entrance from the eighteenth century. The discovery fires her imagination. What kind of lives did the mineworkers and their families have?

When a local woman disappears, Meg begins to struggle with bad dreams. Is she just imagining the night visits that leave tiny hand printsL on the outer wall of her cottage? Her husband commutes, immersed in a dour project—staff reduction at his place of employment. Just when Meg needs him most, Harry is gone, both physically and emotionally.

But Meg may not be entirely alone…

Gary Fry’s horror novella Lurker (DarkFuse Publishing, 2013) is part social critique, part psychological study and part Lovecraftian mystery. Fry integrates these three elements into an eerie, thought-provoking nightmare. Lurker caught me by surprise several times. (I suppose I might have anticipated the turns, but I was too busy enjoying the story.) Fry’s “monster” is a masterful piece of imagination—genuinely disturbing.

One small quibble: I found the story slow going at first. Fry’s opening prose is very British, relying on a distancing combination of understatement and exposition. But it didn’t require much patience to get to the good stuff. And the good stuff is so very worth the effort. Available as an eBook download. (Five stars out of five)


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