Afraid of the Light short story anthology #bookreview @NolanDom @Jo_Furniss

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on a brand new collection of short stories by some excellent crime writers. Afraid of the Light is being released to support The Samaritans and all proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the charity. If you’re looking for something that will fill up a couple of hours of the day, then diving into this anthology will be a real treat. And I’m sure that once you have read these stories you will return to them again and again.

Afraid Of The Light by [Victoria Selman, Adam Southward, Dominic Nolan, Elle Croft, S R Masters, Phoebe Morgan, N J Mackay, Rachael Blok, Heather Critchlow, Jo Furniss, Robert  Scragg, Clare  Empson, James  Delargy, Kate  Simants]


Some people are scared of the dark. But it’s the light that exposes the secrets.

A young boy with nightmares faces up to his demons. A deathbed confession turns the world on its axis. A five-year-old watches his parents bury a body in the garden. A soldier returns from the war to find the horror isn’t yet over.

Afraid Of The Light brings the imagination of fourteen bestselling crime writers together in a collection that will keep you up all night. From a deadly campfire game to a holiday gone wrong, to an AI assistant with a motive and a love affair that can only end in murder, this is a gripping, twisty set of stories to send a shiver down your spine.

“The stories are wildly entertaining in their own right, but they also address the concerns and fears we all feel: isolation and loneliness; guilt and grief; justice and punishment. And perhaps most importantly of all: redemption and hope.” — Alex North


Afraid of the Light is a brilliant collection of short stories that you could quite happily lose an afternoon too; it is an excellent way to pass the time. Each writer brings their own unique flair to this collection. What you will get with each tale is an utterly gripping narrative that will draw you into each story and the characters who inhabit them. I’m certain that I’ll be returning to these stories again. I’ve also found some new authors by reading them who I’ll definitely be checking out soon, so this is also the perfect opportunity to get to explore new talent.

What these stories do so well is that they expertly transport you to different locations. To the heart of the Bolivian rainforest in Drowning in Debt by Helen Critchlow, I’m sure many readers will agree with me that one of the characters gets their just deserves in this story. Dominic Nolan takes us inside prison walls in, Daddy Dearest and completes his story with an utterly chilling revelation. Then we’re taken to a future very much within humanity’s grasp in Are You Listening by Adam Southwold and To Evil or not to Evil by Jo Furniss. In these two gripping stories, the authors explore the dangers of advancing technology. Is it inevitable that machines will become smarter than humans, and what will they do when that becomes an eventuality? A strong voice narrates Sausage Fingers by Victoria Selman, and it pulls you into a disturbing story of a girl’s jealousy for another who always steals the spotlight. In Rachel Blok’s Just a Game, a group of girls are camping when the body of a young boy is discovered one morning outside their tent. They are forced to make a devastating decision. Phoebe Morgan’s Sleep Time is a devastating read as a desperate mother tries to work out what is happening inside her son’s head, but is too late to stop him from carrying out an awful act.

But Coming Home by Nikki McKay takes on a slightly different tone as the story is told from the perspective of a man who has recently returned home from war. And the tension is turned up a notch in Sheep’s Clothing by Robert Scragg, which is a tense story about one man’s quest for revenge.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this collection. I think it’s quite hard to become attached to a character in a short story, but the authors definitely achieved this here. In Elle Croft’s Deathbed, Beth dead I became so wrapped up in the character’s tale that I’m still thinking about her even now. S R Masters Loveable Alan Atcliffe will make you think twice about who you should put your trust in. In Frantic Clare Empson manages to convey the terrifying thoughts one woman has in only a few short pages, as a secret she has been carrying threatens to destroy her family. In James Delargy’s Planting Nan, he looks at childhood innocence, but he gives it a chilling twist. It makes for quite a disturbing read as his character tries to make sense of what is going on in her environment. Shadow by Kate Simants ends this anthology on a very chilling note.

What this anthology does so well is that it gives you a taste of each writer’s style and their writing. You’ll definitely want to find out more about the author’s work when you have finished this. This is a gripping collection of short stories that will chill you and provide you with several hours of entertainment. Highly recommended!

Publisher: Amazon Media

Publication date: 21st April 2020

Print length: 142 pages

Afraid of the Light is available to buy: 

Amazon UK

Are you Listening? – Adam Southward
Daddy Dearest – Dominic Nolan
Deathbed, Beth Dead – Elle Croft
Loveable Alan Atcliffe – S R Masters
Sleep Time – Phoebe Morgan
Coming Home – N J Mackay
Sausage Fingers – Victoria Selman
Just a Game – Rachael Blok
Drowning in Debt – Heather Critchlow
To Evil or Not to Evil – Jo Furniss
Sheep’s Clothing – Robert Scragg
Frantic – Clare Empson
Planting Nan – James Delargy
Shadow – Kate Simants

All author royalties from the sale of this anthology will be donated to the Samaritans.

Samaritans is a charity working across the UK and Ireland to reduce the number of people who take their own lives and help people who are struggling to cope with how they’re feeling or with life’s challenges. When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year.

You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch.

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