I happened across this short story today as I was exploring the many faces of a new Twitter followers, Troy Blackford. His blog, Journey to Death at Lifespeed, features a number of short stories of the horror and thriller genres. I haven’t read much of his work, but I did enjoy a piece of his entitled “All in Your Head.” You can find that story here: http://www.troyblackford.com/2013/01/all-in-your-head-by-troy-blackford.html

While his writing wasn’t what I would call brilliant (and before anyone gets in a huff, I don’t consider many writer’s products to be brilliantly written), his story was very engaging. He set up a number of what I would call suspenseful pitfalls where, just when I might have been tempted to move onto something else, he threw in a chunk of juicy steak with a hook through it. I tend to be a bit prophetic with horror plots (it’s tough to be truly original in our genre), but every time I thought I had Troy’s storyline pegged, he offered some little tidbit that proved me wrong. I LOVE to be wrong.

The ending of the story, while not unexpected, does add a great deal of value to the piece, which would otherwise have been left with an open ending (left to the reader’s interpretation). I don’t always enjoy it when writers clean all the plates to perfection and leave me no gristle to masticate, but in this case the clarity worked very well.

I do wish Troy had provided a more concrete description of his microscopic villains, as I have a very incomplete image of the baddie even after reading the story a couple of times. But that’s my main criticism.

I recommend this story. It’s a fun little piece the will cause readers to wriggle in their seats and leave their mandibles in their laps at the end. See my scoring below:

Writing/Style: 3.5 out of 5

Plot/Storyline: 5 out of 5

Character Development: 4 out of 5

Structural Soundness: 4 out of 5

Suspension of Disbelief: 4.5 out of 5

Total score: 4.2 out of 5

Thanks Troy for the great story! I’m glad my first Indie writing review could be a good one. Looking forward to more of your work!

*Update* Troy just today released his first ever audio book, entitled “They Who Cry Out Seek to Be Heard.” His writing is definitely worth the small investment, so if you’re a horror/thriller fan like me and you want a copy for yourself, visit Troy’s blog here: http://www.troyblackford.com/2013/05/release-they-who-cry-out-seek-to-be.html

Until next time, my fellow Indies.

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