Martyrs & Monsters Review
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Robert Dunbar is truly a talented writer, and he proves it once again with Martyrs & Monsters, a collection of chilling short stories. You’ll want to dip into these stories and savor each one instead of rushing through (or even reading one after another). You’re going to want to save some for a rainy day—or a dark night—and enjoy them like your favorite depraved treat.

In “Saturday Night Fights,” the lead singer and new drummer for the band Blunt Force Trauma wake up late in the day in a rundown dump that belongs to a friend. Their fellow band members are missing, and something’s scratching at the door. Should they go see what it is?

Something less than human stalks a mother and her children through the snow in “Gray Soil.” The only recourse the mother has is to lead the monster away from her children and pray she gets it before it gets her.

In “Away,” a man believes that his neighbors are something other than human. One day, he decides to follow them, and he discovers that his neighbors are not alone. Others like them send each other clandestine meaningful nods. Can he make it back to his apartment alive, or is he the interloper?

The stories above are just a drop in the bucket of dark fiction offered by Mr. Dunbar in Martyrs & Monsters. Each short piece is intelligently and chillingly written, going deep into the degenerate minds of the characters that populate these pages. Isolation and loneliness stalk each one until they run headlong into the sinister and macabre.

Treat yourself to these fourteen tales of horror, ranging from vampires to sea monsters. Mr. Dunbar takes readers on a scary, compelling ride through madness, giving just enough hope to make us think that humanity might survive in spite of such depravity.

Martyrs & Monsters is a book that I’ll keep in my truck for those times when I need an entertaining read while waiting for an appointment (or while eating lunch). I know I’ll dip into these stories again and again.

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