The First Pan Book of Horror
Joan Aiken: Jugged Hare
Fear Rating: 3/5
Fact: Joan Aiken wrote The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
A revenge thriller rather than an out and out horror. A gentle way to start the series, it contains little or no gore to speak of. It’s one death is by tree. Only really frightening if you’re thinking about having an affair or you happen to be living with an adulterous wife - which is about 55% of you apparently.
‘Colne’s car stood there, Two huge elm boughs had dropped across it, pinning it as securely as a beetle to an entomologist’s board’
A.L. Barker: Submerged
Fear Rating: 2/5
Fact: Audrey Lilian Barker almost won the Booker prize in 1970 for her novel John Brown’s Body.
A claustrophobic story set by a riverbank where boy helplessly witnesses a murder. Rather nice prose but little else of note. Aqua and Hydrophobics might find something to worry about but I doubt it would keep you up at night otherwise.
‘His mind ceased to calculate; it was his body, reacting to physical nausea, swamped and drowning, which made him strike out blindly, seeking to batter and break the web of water.’