Following the well received first volume “Chiral Mad 2” is a mega-anthology of psychological horror ( more than 400 pages) assembling mostly original stories by both established masters of the genre and newcomers. Inevitably the quality of the contributions is extremely uneven, ranging from the awful to the excellent, with a good amount of fair enough stuff in between.

Being impossible to describe and comment in detail upon such a huge material, I will simply mention the more accomplished tales which make the book worth reading, regardless of the fame of their authors.

First of all I’ d like to mention one of the two reprints included in the anthology, namely the Bram Stoker winning novella “Orange Is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity”by David Morrell, a powerful piece of fiction probing the secrets of a suicidal painter, a story about art, madness and the frailty of the human soul.

Gary A Braunbeck’s “The Great Pity” is yet another of the author’s masterful, unsettling descriptions of human tragedies imbued with violence and death, always told in a compassionate,emotional fashion.

“When I Was” by Thomas F Monteleone is the compelling portrait of a man’s life and the pivotal role of his guardian angel, while “Interference” by Andrew Hook is a very ingenuous tale depicting how the world really appears when reflected in a mirror.

MortCastle contributes  “The Counselor”  a bitter, ironical but sad story about guilt and Max Booth III provides “Flowers Blooming in the Season of Atrophy” an insightful look into the roots of madness and violence.

In the perceptive “Scavenging” by Kevin Lucia the objects representing the memories of the past haunt the gloomy life of a “sidewalk scavenger” while in “The Chute” by Gary McMahon, a tale of urban horror, a disturbing refuse chute in an old building is the source of unbearable terror.

If you want more, the third volume in the series is already in the works.