Tuesday, September 12, 2017

For Better, or For Worse: Eight Stories by Josh Craven

Description

In For Better, or For Worse, Josh Craven offers up eight unsettling stories of the macabre, the supernatural, and the worst of human nature.

•"For Better or for Worse" - When Jacob’s world is derailed by a tragic accident, the hot-shot young attorney finds practicing law is easy compared to practicing his new life.
•"Tongue Lashing" - Two junior-high boys alone in an East Texas pasture on a broiling hot afternoon. What could go wrong?
•"The Hungry House" - In an effort to get his life straight, Davy takes a road trip to put the past behind him for good. But he finds his childhood home has been waiting for his return.
•"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" - Having to go in to the office on a Saturday is bad enough, but commuting on the public rail system can be… well, murder.
•"Attrition" - When looking for a job in the brutally competitive world of big law firms, John Nichols finds that getting through the hiring process can be survival of the most desperate.
•"Cake and Smokes" - A young couple buys the perfect starter home, but they find the elderly prior owner wasn’t quite ready to leave the house behind.
•"The Past Never Dies" - Through the daily entries in Barney’s grief journal, a terrible secret from his past is revealed.
•"The Last Photographer" - First her parents, then her husband—Kat has trouble letting go of those she loves, but she soon finds there are fates much worse than death.



For Better or For Worse is a curious collection of bizarre tales, that range in nature from Sci-Fi in the title story, to psychological thriller, to horror. The first few were just not for me but the last 5 more than made up for that. In "Attrition" several job applicants show up to interview at a law firm that has but a single job to offer. Times are tough and they all desperately need this opportunity. Desperation can be a dangerous thing! I loved this one.

In "Cake and Smokes" an elderly woman puts her house on the market but tries her damnedest to not get put out of her home. This one was super creepy.

"The Past Never Dies" was my absolute favorite. It's about love and loss and grief. Barney has recently lost his wife, and begins a daily journal to deal with his emotions and to tell his wife all the things he can no longer say. Strange things begin to happen as Barney is haunted not by his wife but by his own past.

"The Last Photographer" also touches on grief as Kat tries to face the fact that her husband is losing his battle with cancer. When she tries to both hold on and let him go she learns that some things are far worse than death.

All in all a good solid collection. 4 out of 5 stars from me.
I received a complimentary copy for review

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