With a incubi theme, The Foundling was another favourite of mine, although it does follow Incubus by Joe Donnelly who explores the idea of an incubi infant thoroughly in his excellent 1997 novel. But still as a standalone story, The Foundling does offer a short moment of terror as two elderly sisters find themselves in possession of a very hungry infant abandoned on their doorstep.
Nightmares provides us with a short, though chilling insight into what goes on in the background of a mind of a monster, a sure thought that we all have monsters swelling inside us, just waiting until our own psychosis bubble over and break through that mirror of sanity which we reflect upon the world.
Another standout story is Bequeathed in which Edwards ramps up the tension inch by inch as a police officer uncovers something sinister in a flat on his beat, which changes the lives on anyone who comes into contact with what lies inside.
On the strength of these stories and a few others I’d give Black Mirror a full five stars but a few of stories I encountered failed to fully gel or create a spark of unease within me as they tried to rely on a fear of oneself rather than that of an outside threat which just didn’t work for me despite the fact they were well written, it was just that some plots failed to take off. But don’t get me wrong, there are greater more established authors out there whose short story collections I’ve devoured and felt a similar feeling of vague emptiness on one or two stories. This been said, what I enjoyed was excellent, and what I didn’t wasn’t bad as such, just not of a greater calibre than the top tales.
All in all I look forward to more from Paul Edwards. He writes well, creating a grimy sense of impending doom that stays with the reader. Should he bring out another collection or perhaps even a full length novel I’ll be sure to check it out. But first I’ll have to decide whether cover up all the mirrors; or simply smash them from their frames, just to be on the safe side.