Tuesday, July 5, 2011
8 Pounds, by Chris F. Holm
I stumbled across author Chris F. Holm about a year ago when I read his story "The Toll Collectors" at Beat to a Pulp. I instantly became a fan and tried to find as many of his online stories as I could. Happily for us, he released a collection of his stories for Kindle back in October.
8 Pounds is a collection of eight crime, horror, and suspense stories that are a great showcase for Holm's talents. The collection starts off with "Seven Days of Rain", a gripping story which is like the great, great grandson of "The Telltale Heart". The story is infused with a palpable sense of dread from word one.
"The Toll Collectors" features a hitman haunted by his sins and trapped on an abandoned section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This one got to me because I've driven the Turnpike many times over the years making trips from NJ to Pittsburgh.
"The Big Score" is a straight up crime tale with double and triple crosses vividly set in a small port town. The way Holm reveals the pieces of the puzzle shows he really knows how to write a well-crafted tale.
If horror is more your speed, go for "A Better Life" and "The Well". If you're not creeped out, then you have no soul.
Chris F. Holm is one of the finest writers working out there today. He has the ability to render sympathetic characters and create vivid landscape with the minimum amount of words necessary. He deserves to break out and 8 Pounds is exhibit A when making the case.