All Things Deadly: Salem Stories

D. & T. Aug. 2021. 174p. ISBN 9798547261411. pap. $10.99. HORROR
DEBUT Adam Frost is driving his daughter Sutton to Salem to visit an old friend and revisit some painful memories. Sutton wants to be anywhere else, and the tension between them is colored by a shared grief. The story of this trip—and of Adam’s and Sutton’s grief—forms the frame for Hanson’s debut collection. The bulk of the stories aren’t connected to the Frosts, but they conjure weird and unsettling worlds where movies drive filmgoers mad, a free couch covers up a terrible secret, a teacher’s last writing assignment reveals a shocking bit of her past, and more. There are interesting ideas here, but they don’t always land. And some of the stories, including one with a gay couple and one with a transgender character, border on trafficking in unfortunate stereotypes. The story of the Frosts, however, is the collection’s real highlight. Their strained father-daughter relationship is nicely drawn, and Hanson finds an authentically moving resolution to their family ghost story.
VERDICT An uneven collection with some promising ideas.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing