Review of ‘Suffer the Little Children’ from Cruentus Libri Press
I’m never sure what to expect of small press anthologies, especially horror ones. With every anthology there’s usually quite a wide range of differing tales and Suffer the Little Children, edited by Kevin G. Bufton, is no exception. Some of the stories in this volume I liked a lot more than others (I’m sure a lot of this has to do with personal preference – I’m more of a psychological horror fan who prefers a creaky door to a bloodthirsty zombie and this is quite a bloodthirsty anthology!) but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this collection has some real gems.
My personal favourites are as follows: ‘Summer Holidays’ by D.J. Cockburn is an unsettling and evocative coming-of-age tale. ‘Walking on Eggshells’ by J.A. Grier tells a creepy tale of a single father and his daughter’s unusual way of coping with the death of her mother. I couldn’t have predicted the ending. ‘The Refrigerator’ by Paul Edmonds is a genuinely disturbing take on why children shouldn’t play in old fridges, featuring some lovely characterisation. ‘Blue Madeline’s Version’ by Gregory J. Wolos is a haunting and nicely understated tale of an orphaned niece who returns to the uncle who refused to take her in. ‘Transmutation’ by Paco falls into the ‘body horror’ genre that I’m not usually a fan of, but the gross-out in this one is balanced by some great characterisation that makes me love it even whilst I’m shuddering!
It makes me really happy that independant small publishers are doing these short runs of anthologies. Although Cruentus Libri are now on a hiatus and won’t be releasing anything new in the near future, I’m looking forward to checking out more of their back catalogue and would recommend this collection to fans of traditional horror in the Stephen King ilk.