Summer Frost

Riley, a video game developer in the not-too-distant future, discovers that a non-playable character (NPC) in her game has gone rogue.  The character, dubbed Max, has developed its own intelligence.  Fascinated by this development, Riley becomes obsessed with nurturing and advancing Max to its ultimate potential. Blake Crouch has already released what will probably be…

Full Throttle

Joe Hill returns with his second short story collection, Full Throttle. Of the thirteen stories included, only two of them are new and exclusive to the collection (“Late Returns” & “Mums”).  I had previously read three of the remaining eleven (“Faun”, “Thumbprint” and “Twittering from the Circus of the Dead”), which left me with 10…

The Testaments

Margaret Atwood returns to Gilead more than fifteen years after the events at the conclusion of The Handmaid’s Tale.  Broken up by three narrators, The Testaments tells of the collapse of Gilead and the events that led to its demise. When Margaret Atwood announced a sequel to her 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale, the collective…

The Institute

Tim Jamieson stumbles into the sleepy South Carolina town of DuPray.  A former police officer, Tim works his way up the law enforcement ladder from glorified night watchman to cop proper – gun and all.  However, that’s the last we’ll hear from Tim before the story shifts focus. Luke Ellis is a gifted child.  At…

40 Nickels

After the events of Dead Clown Blues, Carnegie Fitch is without a workplace and without steady work.  Now he spends his days gulping down coffee from a diner he now considers home base.  Fitch’s dry spell ends when he’s hired to look into a shady street corner snake oil salesman promising miracle cures in exchange…

Dead Clown Blues

Private investigator Carnegie Fitch is approached by a life insurance company to look into one of their claimants.  They’re refusing to go back to work citing long-term disability but something about the story doesn’t seem to add up given their past behaviour.  While working the case, Fitch hears of an old friend who passed away.…