I Smell Blood by Ralph Robert Moore; Sentence Publishing; 2011; 282 pgs; $18.00 US

Ralph Robert Moore’s second collection  confirms the excellent qualities displayed in his previous book “Remove the Eyes”,  namely a powerful imagination, an extraordinary degree of originality and a great storytelling ability .

“I Smell Blood” collects eight stories  ( six reprints plus two previously unpublished tales) and a brand new short novel.

“The Little Girl Who Lives in the Woods”  is a cruel, extremely dark story  about spoiled innocence, loneliness and violence, while  “In the Tunnels of the Agogs” is  an offbeat, surrealistic piece where a man has to rescue his wife from the stomach of a strange animal.

Talking of weird creatures, a giant frog dominates the background of “When the Big One Thaws”, a splendid tale of horror and betrayal, while in “Rain Turns to Snow” a married couple is haunted by an increasing number of mysterious snowmen.

There is an unusual but quite effective Zombie tale (“ Fleeing On A Bycicle From the Living Dead”) and a perceptive piece graced by a superb characterization, featuring two scuba divers who find the body of a missing young girl ( “Visibility”).

Proving that Moore is getting better and better, the two new stories are top notch. “Afoot” masterfully describes, blending tragedy and humor,  the incredible encounter between a middle aged man and an obnoxious girl working at a dry cleaner .  “The Man Who Would Jump Off Roofs”, a very enjoyable tale with a  quite original plot and  excellent dialogues , features a man endowed with an extremely peculiar gift.

In the final novel  “Kid” Moore cooks a tasty dish  using many ingredients: crime, a lot of sex, a touch of supernatural (the main character is a teenager with the uncommon ability of “head-hopping”) a bit of grotesque (the head of the crime mob is a violent cop always wearing a mask) and a grain of thriller (the kid’s task is to retrieve an important number from the mind of a government official). The result is a phantasmagorical , overwhelming piece of fiction apt to entertain, upset and delight the reader.

A highly recommended book.

Mar 20, 2011

**Please note. You may not reproduce any reviews in whole or in part without the express permission of Horror World and the respective author. Please contact the webmaster with any requests. Thank you.**