Epeolatry Book Review: Serial Encounters, ed. Jane Nightshade


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Title: Serial Encounters
Author: Various, ed. Jane Nightshade
Genre: Horror Anthology
Publisher: Hellbound Books
Publication Date: 5th March, 2024

Synopsis: Have you ever wondered what may happen if you were ever to happen upon a notorious serial killer while going about your daily life – before they earned their notoriety? 
Jane Nightshade’s Serial Encounters brings you 18 chilling tales of mayhem and murder that tackle that very question from some of the edgiest indie horror authors in the business. Consider the following:
Killer clown John Wayne Gacy drops off his famous clown suits at a dry-cleaners, and the teenage girl who works there finds something extremely disturbing about them.
Another unwitting teenage girl unwisely dates David Berkowitz, The Son of Sam killer, and finds herself possessed by David’s very unusual dog.
An auto mechanic working late in Seattle encounters a tall, handsome law student who is in one hell of a hurry to get his Volkswagen Beetle repaired. The polite, well-spoken law student gives his name as Ted…
These and a bundle of other spine-chilling forays into the murderous world of real-life serial killers await you in tales of terror from: Jane Nightshade, N.J.Gallegos, Bret McCormick, Jayna Locke, Damon Nomad, Trev Hill, Tom Howard, Mord McGhee, Charles Reis, James Musgrave, Dave Davis, Ethan K. Lee, Kevin Hopson, G.N. Anderson, Ann O’Mara Heyward, Carson Demmans, and D.W. Milton.

Ah, summer! That wonderful time of year for vacations, road trips, and, generally, just taking a break. You might be looking for a book to enjoy on your trip and I sure hope you like the one I have today. Oh look! That poor hitchhiker looks like they could use a lift. What’s summer without a little excitement?

Serial Encounters contains 18 stories featuring some of the most notorious serial killers in the history of the United States as well as a few well-known international killers. At 253 pages, each story is roughly 14 pages, making for a great bite of fiction. 

Within this treasure trove of serial killers, some crimes are a near brush with death. A doctor cares for a patient without realizing that a man hunt is currently underway for them. A fast-food worker makes a decision that could be the difference between life and death. These stories, while fictional, are plausible and do a great job of describing the killers’ known mannerisms and speech.

Other stories take a bit more supernatural approach. John Wayne Gacy’s infamous clown suits take on a life of their own. Perhaps David Berkowitz’s dog, Sam, really could talk. One story even elevates the supernatural and follows a victim into death, when, after the killer’s execution, the victim finally has revenge.

The best part of this book—all of the killers only appear once, save for a great group therapy story involving several perpetrators. I’ll be honest, Reader, I’ve never had a big interest in Serial Killers. I know that’s a whole streaming service category now, but it never interested me much. These stories not only introduced me to murderers I’ve never heard of before, they gave me reasons to dig further into their history. Following each narrative, Nightshade goes so far as to include a little snippet of the killer and their known crimes.

This book will have you running the gambit of reactions as you read. There’s humor, shock, disgust, and horror. While these tales are fictionalized, it remained in the back of my mind that these were real people who did real evil.

Looking for a delightful anthology for your summer vacation? Are you a fan of, or know little about some of the most famous serial killers? If so, then I highly recommend Serial Encounters edited by Jane Nightshade.


Available from Amazon and Bookshop.

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