Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Guest Book Review: Cut Corners Volume 3 by Ray Garton, Kealan Patrick Burke, and Bryan Smith

This review is by my friend, Adrian Shotbolt. Thanks for swapping reviews with me Adrian! He also loves horror fiction and everyone should stop by his blog at He has an abundance of cool book reviews and album reviews. 

You can read my review of We Came Back by Patrick Lacey, just click on the link above. 

Volume 3 of ‘Cut Corners’ from Sinister Grin Press is the best one yet in my humble opinion. Here, three stylistically different horror writers deliver three chilling and strange tales. First drop goes to Kealan Patrick Burke who opens with ‘Andromeda’, and wow! What a great story. As a reader, I love nothing more than a tale being flipped on its head, taking me down a completely different path and that is exactly what Kealan does here. I thought this tale of cell phones and social media was going to be a creepy stalker tale…how wrong I was! It starts off straightforward enough, but things take a truly weird and otherworldly twist which I loved. A great start.

Bryan Smith is a no-holds-barred horror writer. His stuff is visceral, unapologetic and often uncomfortable to read (like good horror should be, right?). His tale follows Martin Sanchez-a man separated from his wife, living a mundane life with his two dogs. When a mysterious black barrel appears in his back yard, Martin is baffled…until he checks his Twitter account. Things become increasingly odd as Martin’s fortunes change for the better upon opening the barrel. Not the best of Bryan Smith, but an entertaining story. I expected something a little more gross-out from Smith, but it’s good to see he can deliver stories like this one too.

Ray Garton delivers the longest piece with ‘Afterparty’. This is the story of Jarrett Baffometti-a pop star, only 18 years old, but already with an endless supply of money. Baffometti attends a strange party at the request of his manager, possibly hosted by the illuminati?! A cocktail of drink, sex and drugs does little to persuade Baffometti that what is transpiring during the night is bad news. Things take a weird, dark and sinister turn as the party hosts dabble in the dark arts leading Jarrett into murky, murderous waters. A very cool story to finish things off.

Overall, ‘Cut Corners 3’ is a fine read. Two great stories and a solid one from Bryan Smith serve as a great introduction to the authors’ works, but also show the versatility and imagination the dark fiction genre has to offer. Great stuff.

4/5 stars overall.

Follow along the tour with these hashtags:
#CutCorners3 #horrorshorts #SinisterGrinPress

Cut Corners v 3, Synopsis 

Late, dark nights are perfect for reading surreal and terrifying tales from some of the best story tellers in the horror business. Grit your teeth, sit by the fire pit, and be prepared to possibly not return from underneath the spell of their writing prowess, but if you do, we’re certain you’ll have a sinister smile to share. All these modern stories have an element of thought-provoking surprise and style.

“Andromeda” –Kealan Patrick Burke
A  grim story of a teen girl hooked to her cell phone that will make you think outside of your comfort level.  Kealan Patrick Burke is a hauntingly lyrical and original writer of horror that will leave you breathless.

“The Barrell” – Bryan Smith
When a surprise barrel shows up out of nowhere on the back stoop, and the dogs start to bark at it uncontrollably, Martin becomes very suspicious and intrigued.  Bryan Smith is a versatile and horrifying author who will leave you squeamish and chuckling.

“Afterparty” -   Ray Garton
Jarrett is getting famous on the entertainment scene, but what will he have to do to remain in the industry?  Brought to you by Ray Garton, a master of explicit detail and tense horror that entrances readers and doesn’t let them go.


Want to Feature?

If you’d like to review Cut Corners v 3 by Burke, Garton, or Smith, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Sinister Grin publicist, at

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