Kevin Lucia's Things Slip Through is a collection of short stories that reads more like a novel due to the importance of the wrap-around story and the way the tales interconnect. There's a bit of the tone of The Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories in this enjoyable (and too short!) read. And, of course, many readers will recognize the connections to tales and creatures of H. P. Lovecraft throughout the book.
The descriptions in Things Slip Through are extremely vivid. With simple phrases, Lucia paints pictures of familiar and yet terrifying creatures. Having read other works by Mr. Lucia, I'd say this is one signature of his, and he uses his skills as a writer to draw in the reader without exposing the seams of the work.
In my introductory review, I stated that Sheriff Chris might regret wanting to know more about the mysterious town and its inhabitants. Sure enough... And the tales don't disappoint. In most of the stories, a run-down, sinister house plays a part, manipulating time and emotions to create outcomes of its own design. Still, Chris needs to know more about this house – and other things – if he's to “do his job.”
Other stories feature a spell book (though it's not specified in the stories, I would bet most readers can guess which one) that conjures creatures that can grant any and every wish. Then there's the road where residents mysteriously disappear – or find themselves. And some tales hint at other strange locations within the town, such as a hospital in which patients are “transferred” and never heard from again; or an old store containing strange and powerful artifacts (Ia! Ia! Ia!). Miskatonic University even makes a brief appearance, through a professor that can make people “disappear” with unique creations of his own.
One of my favorite stories in the collection (and it's difficult to choose just one!) is “The Gate and the Way,” featuring reoccurring character Jesse Kretch. He's a man that has been trapped by his own mind due to events that haunt him from his childhood. But in a town like Clifton Heights, changing the past is not impossible.
The wrap-around story, with Gavin and the Sheriff, pulls everything together nicely. All in all, a great collection, and I suspect we'll be seeing more from these interesting characters.
Nancy O. Greene started writing at the age of nine. Her short story collection, Portraits in the Dark, received a brief mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007. Other works have appeared or will appear in ChiZine; Lovecraft eZine; Cemetery Dance; Tales of Blood and Roses; Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror; Shroud Publishing's The Terror at Miskatonic Falls; Dark Recesses; Flames Rising; Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore!; and others. She has a BA in Cinematic Arts (Critical Studies) and a minor in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Southern California, and is a former Fellow of Film Independent's Project: Involve.