Monday, May 05, 2014

Jabbie Welsh by Chet Williamson

I've been working my way through Chet Williamson's short story collection, FIGURES IN RAIN,  and by working I mean savoring, not rushing through a collection as I sometimes do. I'd read some of Williamson's other work over the years, but this collection of shorts is particularly fine.
   Just read one called JABBIE WELSH about a city couple who decide to leave their apartment lifestyle for a house in the country. As often happens in horror stories, they should have asked around a bit before buying the house. One morning when the woman is home an old woman comes to call and she is not only strange but, as it turns out when the man meets her a little later, hostile and possibly dangerous. And maybe not human.
   This is a creepy, creepy story with a couple of good scares, wrapped up in some well crafted prose. One thing I like about it is that like most good ghost stories, it's up to the reader to decide just what really happened. How much was real and how much was the product of someone's mind. Henry James would be proud.
   Anyway, lots of good stories in this collection, but this one really worked for me. I'm pretty sure it will end up on my annual Year's 13 best Horror Stories list come September.


Keith West said...

I've got a number of Ash-Tree volumes, but I don't have this one. Now that they're doing ebooks, though, I can afford more of their titles. I'll have to check this one out.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

I think you'll enjoy it, Keith.