Adult Fiction, ARC, ARC Review, Book Review, Horror

Review: Strings by Darren Gallagher

The author shared a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

33 dark tales; the invisible bindings that tie us all together.

Within this book you will find terrifying tales from catastrophic celebrations, to freaky family funerals… …

Beware the supernatural, Beware the weather… …

Beware the strings.

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I have grown up on a staple of horror stories. From Goosebumps to H.P. Lovecraft, if it has horror as a genre I have probably read it. I even remember asking my parents to make up horror stories as bedtime stories when I was a kid (Yes, I was a total bane of their life then :P).

So when I connected with Mr. Gallagher on IG (@dubhara) and found out that he wrote a collection of horror stories, I just had to nag him until I got a copy for review (Not sorry at all :D)

Plus, he is Irish. Irish people are cool. Also, Ireland is at top of the list of the countries I want to visit and reading books by Irish authors, is one way of me getting closer to that wonderful piece of heaven!

Mr. Gallagher has chosen somewhat of a under-selected genre for his debut collection of short stories, especially considering this is his debut novel. Even, then he actually succeeds in holding my attention throughout the book.

Short stories, though are notoriously quite difficult to review. Only because, the moment everything starts getting interesting, the story ends. But true horror stories have been quite rare and few in between. And when I say true horror stories, I mean, which doesn’t always have a love story trapped in between looking for a happy ending.

Mr. Gallagher’s writing, though is absolutely engaging. Even in  this short stories, he has managed to capture the essence of the horror and mystery quite well. There were quite a few stories where even I (a vertiable guesser of what’s coming next in the plot!) was unable to guess what would be coming next or how the story would end. So yes, I fell in love with the writing style of this author (and no, I don’t fall in love easily, except with fictional characters of course :P)

This collection has a variety of plots to spook you as well as leave you hanging for more! From shapeshifters, to giant spiders to deadly fairies to psychopathic lovers, this collection has everything for a versatile reader.

So here’s what I learnt from this terrifying collection of stories – 

  1. Never ever trust an old lady with amazing cures. (Even the old cruddy doctors better than them!)
  2. Never ever fall in lust with a beautiful girl you meet on a hike. (Not that I would, hey I am straight, as far as I know! :P).
  3. Never ever believe that a couple in love are adorable (Even love wasn’t spared, now was it?).
  4. At a funeral always make sure that the person buried isn’t alive! (I know I know, it will be awkward asking to open the casket, but better safe than sorry, right?)
  5. When a crazy women tells you not to get married! Heed her words! (You don’t want to end up dead or even worse!)
  6. When you buy a house to renovate/rebuild, do check the house properly (Yes, I know, its normal to do that. But really check all that scratchy noise you might hear!)
  7. You have bought a Christmas Tree and are now getting ready to trim and decorate it. If you hear noises, don’t think, don’t look, just basically run! (Cookies to those who get this reference!)
  8. It’s snowing outside, do not by any means go outside. Even if it seems like a life and death situation (because if you do, it definitely will be a life and death situation!).
  9. You have a dog. You take him out for a walk. You pass by a house that sparks your interest but your dog refuses to move further. Listen to the bloody dog and run in the opposite direction!
  10. You are in a park, you see a little girl and she asks you to play with her. Again, don’t think, just do. Play with her for as long as she needs. (Trust me, you’ll thank me for this sage advice!).
  11. Stay away from Bars. and Saloons. (Or be dead. Just saying!).

I would have written a lot more, but frankly, I think these are perfectly enough to make sure I spend the rest of my life, trying to stay inside my house!

This collection of stories is perfect for whetting your appetite for more! The writing is wonderful, the settings of each story is intriguing enough to keep you hooked in, till you are done and you realize that the shadows behind you could mean that there is another person in the room with you. 

A wonderful debut, all in all, and I can’t wait to read more stories that horrify me from this author!


4 Stars (Not just for the content of the story but for the brilliant writing as well).


This is a perfect companion to all that horror loving readers out there (Companion only because these are short stories!). Also, perfect for those light night talks, where you can read these horror stories to scare the bajeesus out of each other. Definitely perfect for the bonfire/camp nights as well. 

Plus, as I said. Irish people are cool. 


4 thoughts on “Review: Strings by Darren Gallagher”

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