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I enjoy anthologies, and every now and then there's one that shares a setting rather than a theme which adds a unique flavor to the book as a whole. It gives the sense that every story is connected in some tangible way. In this case, Jodi Lee's fictional town of New Bedlam provides the backdrop for fourteen short stories. Reading the book, I had the inkling that New Bedlam was not totally unlike The Blackstone Chronicles: The Serial Thriller Complete in One Volume, John Saul's series of stories set within that one town, but New Bedlam is a town of a completely different beast. Not only is it a sandbox for all of the contributing authors, but the stories they write all revolve around writers too--drawn to New Bedlam by some otherworldly compulsion.
New Bedlam is a quaint little town set somewhere between Toronto and New Orleans. The deliberate lack of a pinpoint on a map provides an extra bit of mystery to the place, giving it that "Everytown, U.S.A." vibe. There's a suspected serial killer in town, if the rampant rumors are to be believed, and the murders don't seem to have any rhyme or reason. The thread that connects them is authors--writers that have migrated to New Bedlam from all four corners and exhibit a proclivity towards darker fiction. A town full of horror authors. Perish the thought.
I lucked out by winning a copy of this anthology through a contest Belfire Press. It piqued my interest when I recognized a few of the names in the table of contents. Louise Bohmer I know from reading and reviewing her debut novel, The Black Act.Read more ›
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