She knows what she’s doing, that Helen Grant. In The Sea Change & Other Stories (seven altogether) she does that scary thing we’ve got used to from her novels, only in more concentrated form, making everything scarier still.
I brought her story collection on holiday as a special treat – for me – and also so I could read a story every now and then, diluting the horror by pausing between stories. Hah! That didn’t work. Not only didn’t the stories feel any less frightening, but they were so good there was no way I was going to pause at all.
They are quite traditional in many ways. They could have been written many years ago, by one of the old masters. As it is, they have been written more recently, by one of the new masters. What struck me, apart from being so well written, was how much Helen knows about what she’s writing about. Or seems to know.
I couldn’t write a diving story to save my life, and in The Sea Change we get all the – seemingly correct – jargon to do with diving. Remember; don’t dive near any suspicious looking old wrecks. That one was creepy. Wet. Oozing.
Before it there was Grauer Hans, where Helen has returned to traditional old German horror tales. That’s very, very creepy. In fact, you want to take care where and when you finish that story.
17th century France, modern Slovakia, Scottish climbing, really weird holidays; it’s all there. It’s all scary. Always interesting, always good writing.
The Sea Change & Other Stories is a most exclusive collection, limited to 400 copies. Hurry, get yours now.