Welcome to my stop on the Nothing Good Happens After Midnight blog tour! Huge thanks to Blackthorn Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to take part in this! I was provided a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.
Nothing Good Happens After Midnight is a collection of tense tales, dripping with suspense, from a variety of authors. From a serial killer on death row with one more trick up his sleeve, to a man on a mission to stop people misusing mobile phones once and for all; to a phone call to a newsroom which puts lots of lives at risk, to the classic of a teenage sleepover in a cemetery. This anthology has a lot to offer and illustrates the range of stories and plots, both classic and contemporary, which can leave you feeling claustrophobic and the need to keep looking over your shoulder.
Whilst I felt that some stories would have been better off in a longer form rather than short form, whether it be because I didn’t want them to end or because I thought that would have benefitted from being just slightly more developed, there were plenty that I really enjoyed and felt brilliantly captured suspense in a matter of a few pages. However, there were also some where the abrupt ending really made an impact (such as Kevin O’Brien’s Cell Phone Intolerant). The introduction from Jeffery Deaver did a great job in setting up the collection and briefly illustrating how different each of the short stories are, which means there is something for all kinds of horror and mystery fans in this book!
Personally, there were a few stories that really stood out in this collection for me. I really enjoyed Gone Forever by Joseph Badal, which takes place after a massacre at a church. At the beginning of the story I wasn’t quite sure how the suspense aspect would come into it but by the end I was gripped and loved the twist. This was followed by Linwood Barclay’s Night Shift which was another favourite of mine from the collection. In this tale we saw a newsroom journalist on the night shift when he gets a phone call from a man claiming to be getting ready to commit mass murder. The tension throughout the short story was very well done, but it was the reveal at the end of it which was incredibly satisfying.
I also enjoyed the different take on Cinderella that we see in the book with After Midnight, Cinderella Then and Now by Rhys Bowen, especially as this isn’t traditionally a tale that we would associate with the horror/mystery genre. Lastly, it would be a huge disservice to the anthology if I finished without mentioning Deaver’s own short story of A Creative Defense. This was the one that unsettled me the most. Without giving anything away, of course, the seemingly random change in behaviour in our protagonist’s husband with the chilling final line expertly captured horror and suspense in a matter of a few words.
Overall, this was a very interesting collection of stories, with some that will stay with me for quite some time! I would definitely recommend this for fans of horror, mystery and suspense, you may even find your next favourite author!
If you’d like to see the full list of featured authors, or want to learn more about them, check out the author biographies which were put together by Suspense Magazine!