Sunday 14 January 2018

Sliced and Diced by Joan De La Haye (Book Review)

A collection of 17 dark and twisted tales that will entertain, scare, shock, and disturb you.

Stories include a serial killer on the hunt for his next trophy, ghosts on a murderous reunion tour, a jealous girlfriend killing her boyfriend’s beloved pet, a ghost bride, and a demon tormenting a nun.

Author Joan De La Haye presents an assortment of narratives; some have been previously published in acclaimed anthologies, while others have never seen the light of day. All are sure to provide thrills and chills but are best read with the lights on.

My Review (4 / 5 Stars)

This is a pretty mixed bag of stories. Some good, some... not so good. Thankfully, there are plenty more good than not.

Most of these stories are set in South Africa, and it was those that I enjoyed the best. Some are set in unspecified locations; I found those to be quite "meh".

My two favourites, by far, were Sliced, a ghost story set against the backdrop of farm killings in rural South Africa, and Forest, set in Johannesburg and about an actress filming an advertisement.

Both those stories were beautifully described, and I could really feel the forests of Johannesburg and the ice cold 100-year-old farmhouse in the dead of winter.

As a South African, it's great to read about locations that I can identify with, with characters using language that's familiar to me. The author doesn't try to be something she's not, so everything feels authentic, the way I would speak to my buddies.

Ms De La Haye clearly loves her beautiful country, and it shines through in her writing. Having said that, she doesn't stray away from problems we have in this country, so you do read references to security guards (where one of the characters wonders what they would do if there was actually a robbery), or the high walls we build around our properties, or the aforementioned farm killings.

In general, this book is an honest reflection on daily life in South Africa (notwithstanding ghosts, monsters, and other paranormal weirdness), and will make you feel at home!

Click here to find out where you can pick up a copy.

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