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Eddy C. Bertin
The Whispering Horror
Shadow Publishing
UK Trade Paperback First Edition
ISBN 978-0-9539032-7-60
Publication Date: 05-01-2013
277 pages; £ 10.99
Date Reviewed:06-23-2013
Reviewed by: Mario Guslandi © 2013

Index:  Horror  Science Fiction  Fantasy  General Fiction

A fine example of a "European" horror writer, Eddy Charly Bertin was born in Germany in 1944 from a German mother and a Belgian father and is still living in Belgium. From the late 60's to the present time, he has published a bunch of horror stories, some in Dutch (later translated by himself in English) and some directly in English (then rewritten in Dutch). Several of his stories produced in the 70's have been included in the mythical series Year's Best Horror Stories (USA) and Pan Books of Horror Stories (UK).

British author and editor David Sutton has now assembled fourteen of Bertin's best stories in one volume published by his own Shadow Publishing, a small imprint mainly devoted to unearth and collect lost or forgotten tales by masters of the genre first appeared in print in the golden era of horror fiction.

Once again Sutton's effort is worthwhile, offering to today's readers the opportunity to taste the atmospheres created by an author perfectly at ease with the canons of horror fiction, yet able to provide every time a note of originality and creativity.

"Ten" is an excellent story depicting an ingenuous, slow and terrible vengeance, while "A Taste of Rain and Darkness" is a beautiful, dark tale full of desperation and lyricism, where a murderer keeps re-living the horror of his crime.

The nasty "Belinda's Coming Home!" effectively portrays a retarded girl and her difficult relationship with life and with her own family.

Psychic haunting constitutes the subject of the rather conventional "I Wonder What He Wanted" while psychic vampirism is the key in the outstanding, "Something Small, Something Hungry" (perhaps the best story in the volume), set in a traditional circus, superbly mixing noir and horror in a dark atmosphere of dread.

In the very short but riveting "The White Wall" a man unexpectedly talks on the phone with his dead wife, and in the powerful tale of witchcraft "Whisper of Leathery Wings," evil proves to be a force impossible to control.

Not surprisingly Bertin also paid homage to H.P. Lovecraft in more than one occasion. Here we have the opportunity to enjoy "Dunwich Dreams, Dunwich Screams," a vivid piece blending Lovecraftian themes with British history at the time of Henry the Eighth and "My Fingers Are Eating Me," a Grand-Guignolesque piece of cosmic evil taking place in the claustrophobic world of the London underground.

'The Whispering Horror' is a very good collection, apt to satisfy both the nostalgic elderly horror fans and the new generations of dark fiction lovers.

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