The Knife and The Wound It Deals

The Knife and The Wound It Deals - B.E. Scully The Knife and The Wound it Deals is a short story collection by author B. E. Scully, I knew nothing of the author when I began to read and had purposely avoided all the information already available online.

The first story, ‘The Thing Lives’, carried me through a tram ride in an overcrowded carriage into Manchester city centre, causing me to almost miss my stop. Will Aughten is a man who doesn’t live, he merely exists, terrified that he will unleash his closely guarded secret on the world. In the end he finds a far more terrifying truth.

In ‘Age Will Be Responsible’, fate comes back to take her revenge against an aged miscreant.

‘Earth Shall Return Them’ is the type of tale passed down from generation to generation, of ancient won epic battles.

‘The Devil’s in the Details’, asks how far would you go, what would you sacrifice in order to achieve success.

There is proper psychological horror here, subtle and sharp, the type that chills you to the bone and makes your heart beat faster, your nerves ache and requires you to check that the front door is double locked one last time, as opposed to ‘Saw gore fiction’, that is meant to turn your stomach. Not all of the stories are meant to induce chills, however, in the sad but sweet,’Animal Undertaking’, an elderly lady takes charge of her own end,’ and in ‘Released’, love finds a way to transcend all barriers.

It is my opinion that someone who can pull off a great engaging short story is probably a better writer than someone who can write a decent novel. There is less room for filler, more need for the sharply observed solid character and tighter plotting required.

Fascinatingly B. E. Scully changes voice in each and every story making it seem as if each one was authored by a different writer. Each voice is as authentic as the last. So many of these stories could have been full length novels.

‘The Suffering Other’, ‘Age Will Be Responsible’ and ‘Lucky 13′ were amongst my favourites, and many of the stories lingered in my imagination for days afterwards.

This is a collection written with a deft hand, best read alone, where the floorboards creak the loudest.

I want to read it again. I will read it again.

I received this collection after being contacted by the publisher on 28th Dec 2013, freely received for an honest review. The only information I had prior to reading was that provided by the publisher.