Brian Moreland is a thinking man’s horror novelist. He’s not content to merely tell a story that chills you. He wants you to feel gutted by that story to the point that you reassess your life. Fans of his work knew this intrinsically when they closed the cover of Darkness Rising or Shadows in the Mist and sat back in their chairs exhausted from the journey while simultaneously asking themselves what they would have done in the same situation.
In his latest offering, a micro-anthology of three short stories, the author mines the dark caverns of obsession, avarice, addiction, and desire with an unflinching eye. Dark Needs: Three Twisted Tales of Horror is a bleak reminder that we never truly escape our sins without payment and that even deepest love can doom us to an eternity of horrors.
It was almost painful to read the stories in Dark Needs as the protagonist in each tale is given the opportunity to turn back, to change their path, to leave behind the object or person that will ultimately damn them. Each offer is met with the all too human choice to continue down the path of destruction, and I was left wondering if I could have made a better decision in their situation.
The ultimate sticking point is that these are not bad people. They aren’t people who have lived their lives doing terrible things to others. They simply found themselves in situations they could not navigate.
In “The Dealer of Needs”, Moreland introduces us to an undercover vice cop who samples a drug one fateful night that offers shining hope wrapped by the Devil’s own hand. “Offspring” brings us a woman who willed her whole life as a successful journalist into being, but no force of will could bring her the baby she desired most. And “Chasing the Dragon” leads the reader down a path of demons and despair wrapped in a beautiful love story.
Ultimately all three stories ask the same fatal question: Do you choose to live with your demons?
In Dark Needs: Three Twisted Tales of Terror the answer is invariably yes.
Dark Needs releases this Tuesday, February 28, 2017, and is available for pre-order on the Amazon Kindle! Order today and take a glimpse into the dark void of master storyteller Brian Moreland!