The stories in Neil D’Silva’s RIGHT BEHIND YOU have teeth
—THIS POST IS MOSTLY SPOILER-FREE—
Horror stories coming out of India deserve a bigger spotlight; the stuff is viscerally terrifying in ways that make some of our Western classics seem tame. If you love a great scare and you’ve not read Indian horror? You’ve missed out.
Until now. Neil D’Silva’s short fiction collection, Right Behind You, is the place to start.
I make notes in my books; they become part of my personal history. In a short story collection or anthology, I denote the ones I thought were the best or made an impact on me with little pen-drawn stars.
Right Behind You, then, is a rare gem:
The thirteen tales in Right Behind You are extraordinary in their sense of place and atmosphere; one can feel the heat, hear the insects and traffic, and smell the flora and cooking spices, and sensual descriptions such as “Then placing his hairy leg on her groin, he tried to lull her back to sleep” evoke a strong reaction. Rendered beautifully using the five senses, D’Silva underbellies the lavender sunsets, gleaming glass towers, lush forests and bucolic villages of India with a pervasive tarnish and dread that builds to nail-biting horror.
Yet, none of this slows the pacing. The scarier images, in particular, cut to the quick in an almost cinematic fashion. Descriptions of a monster with backwards feet, a pair of demonic shoes and a rotting bar of soap are gut-punch terrifying.
There are extraordinary emotional bonds between and among the characters, which ups the stakes. We feel the pain of a father’s loss, the stab of a son’s betrayal, and the abandonment of a good friend. In addition, the genuinely funny moments of levity are set in just the right spots; there is no question, here, that D’Silva is playing all of us like pianos, and that’s what makes this more than a collection of stories. It’s a collection of experiences.
If you read this book and like it, please pass the news on to others who might be interested. Why Indian horror hasn’t gotten the attention that Japanese and Korean horror (which I also love) have is sad, and I really want to change that. This is good stuff.
You can get your copy on Kindle or in paperback here: https://bit.ly/NDRightBehindYou
Posted on October 20, 2021, in horror short stories, Horror Stories, Reviews and tagged horror short stories, Indian horror stories, Neil D’Silva, Right Behind You, scary books for Halloween reading. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.