Category Archives: Readers Imbibing Peril (RIP)

What Fall Means to Me: Readers Imbibing Peril #ripxii

Whenever I take on a reading challenge (e.g. read x number of books in y amount of time), I fail. Miserably.

This goes for Readers Imbibing Peril, too – the challenge to read a certain number of horror or suspense titles from Sept. 1st to Oct. 31st. So I wasn’t signing up this year.

Nope. Can’t.

Don’t have time, and never follow through, anyway. Just make a fool of myself saying I’m going to read this and that and then don’t.

Now that we’re into October, though, and it feels like fall, it couldn’t hurt to peek at Stainless Steel Droppings to see what’s happening with Readers Imbibing Peril…and what do I find out?

Yup. I’m in!








Tales of Darkness and Dread: High Crime Area by Joyce Carol Oates (Audio) @audiobkjkbx @HighBridgeAudio

audiobook on CD coverSome tread cautiously, fearfully; some walk right in; but all of the characters in the stories by Joyce Carol Oates collected in High Crime Area explore the dark side of themselves and their relationships. Taken together, this collection of disturbing stories leaves readers with the feeling of unease or dread and only human nature to blame it on — no monsters or paranormal phenomena.

Read by an a variety of actors and well-known audiobook narrators and subtitled “Tales of Darkness and Dread,” the audio edition of High Crime Area was one I listened to for RIP IX but didn’t get reviewed in time for Halloween as intended.

The stories in High Crime Area focus on people in dangerous, or potentially dangerous, situations. In some the danger is present and immediate, but in most, it’s there in the sense of foreboding and dread, or growing panic, felt by the characters and the reader. In all of the stories, the characters have gotten themselves into the dangerous situations, but in completely believable ways. Their thoughts and emotions, as described by the author, make their actions understandable, though often regrettable.

Narrators Julia Whelan, Ray Chase, Donna Postel, Luci Christian, Tamara Marston, and Chris Patton are all excellent. Chris Patton is a new favorite narrator of mine. Julia Whelan has apparently narrated over a hundred audiobooks, but I think she may have been new to me here. I’ve heard Ray Chase read before, but I’m not sure where. He’s the narrator you hear in the audio excerpt here.

Without any overacting or dramatization, each narrator brings out the gradual, subtle horror of each of these stories. Recommended for readers of psychological suspense or literary fiction tinged with horror.

The stories in High Crime Area:

  • “The Home at Craigmillnar” read by Ray Chase
  • “High” read by Donna Postel
  • “Toad-Baby” read by Luci Christian
  • “Demon” read by Chris Patton
  • “Lorelei” read by Tamara Marston
  • “The Rescuer” read by Julia Whelan
  • “The Last Man of Letters” ready by Ray Chase
  • “High Crime Area” read by Julia Whelan

High Crime Area
Oates, Joyce Carol
HighBridge Audio, 2014
7 hours
$29.95 $20.97

Disclosure: I received a copy of this title on CD for the purposes of review through Audiobook Jukebox.

Other opinions on this audiobook:
Audiobook Jukebox

Winter Horror: Snowblind by Christopher Golden @steeldroppings RIP IX

cover imageAs fall slips into New England, Snowblind – a 2014 horror novel by Christopher Golden about Massachusetts blizzards – may increase residents’ already-growing dread of winter tenfold.

The fictional town of Coventry, Massachusetts, is the type you probably think of when you hear “New England town”. A commuter town with at least one white church with a tall steeple, white Colonial-style homes with black trim, big trees that have been there a long time, etc.

What makes the town of Coventry notable are the mysterious deaths during a blizzard twelve years before. Memories of that blizzard make residents of Coventry dread any call for snow in the weather forecast, especially the residents who lost family members. Jake Schapiro has some vivid memories from that storm but has almost been able to convince himself that his 12-year-old eyes played tricks on him at the time, and that what he saw happen in his backyard in the driving, swirling snow didn’t really happen.

Twelve years later, another blizzard is in the forecast. Jake and his mother, along with the other residents of Coventry try to convince themselves they have no cause for dread as they brace themselves for power outages and slippery roads, but they have no idea what (or who) is really coming their way in the storm.

This horror novel won’t win any literary awards, but it succeeded in creating an atmosphere of horror and I thought was pretty scary, even though I read it in warm weather and daylight!


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Art credit to Abigail Larson