Title: Devil’s Night
Author: Curtis M. Lawson
Release date: September 20, 2020
Huge thanks to Curtis for arranging for a digital copy to head my way to review. Look at that cover!! ‘Devil’s Night’ is Curtis’ latest collection and is available as a signed/limited hardcover only, as of writing this review. Judging from the photos I’ve seen online and the gorgeous illustrations within, if you are a fan of Lawson’s work and love collecting stunning releases, this one is right up your alley.
This is my second experience reading Lawson’s work. I read his co-authored novella ‘Those Who Go Forth into the Empty Place of Gods’ which was actually a bit of a miss for me. But, in my brain, there was a germ of a story teller I wanted to explore more. I do have ‘Black Heart Boys’ Choir’ on my Kindle and after reading this, I’m going to need to get to that ASAP.
What I liked: ‘Devil’s Night’ is a collection exactly about that. Devil’s Night is a night of vandalism and arson that occurs on October 30th. Historically associated with Detroit, Michigan. Curtis decided (smartly, I might add) to take that idea and pair it with the legend of the Nain Rouge. The Nain Rouge is a red-dwarf like creature, often assumed to be or associated with the devil. Within, we get some truly stunning stories, and even an appearance by the famed Hobo Pig Lady of Michigan lore.
The fourteen stories opens with the fantastic ‘Trash-Fire Stories,’ which was also my favorite of the group. The story is centered around a teen boy who is doing street art in an industrial area when three kids from his school stumble upon him as he works. They share their own experiences with the Nain Rouge. This story was creepy-personified and the ended was spot on.
This laid some great ground-work for what was to come. The next story ‘D20’ was a great fantasy/horror blend between two brothers playing a board game while the real world howls at their window. This one was even a bit sweet in places.
Other stand outs for me were ‘No One Leaves the Butcher Shop,’ ‘Fire Sermon,’ ‘Rashaam the Unholy’ and ‘The Exorcism of Detroit, Michigan.’
You really can’t go wrong here as Curtis has crafted a collection that will become a classic release, especially for Halloween lovers as the years go by.
What I didn’t like: With any collection there is an ebb and flow with each story and a few of them suffered from the normal ‘I wish this story was a longer’ and ‘I wish this story was shorter’ thoughts that populate a readers brain. Overall, each story is rock solid, which made it easy to overlook those tendencies.
Why you should buy this: As I said in the opening, if you love Lawson’s work or love collecting gorgeous books, this is one you’ll need on your shelf. Coupled with the top notch story telling and the phenomenal imagery Curtis conjures in here, this one’s should be a must read for lovers of dark fiction and people who devour Halloween infused horror.
You can buy Devil’s Night here;
2 thoughts on “Book Review: Devil’s Night by Curtis M. Lawson”
Good review. It doesn’t surprise me that Lawson has a great collection here. I LOVED Black Heart Boys’ Choir.
I still need to read Black Heart! It sounds great!