Updated: Oct 5, 2022
Chad Lutzke brings us his 3rd short story collection, full of grief horror. Yea, he knows how to tug at your heart strings and mess with your mind. And he does it so smooth, you don’t even realize what he is doing to you until the damage is done.
Here we have a collection where Chad hits on several different genres, spreading around his talent. We get a little crime in this collection, along with a few extreme parts, extreme and bizarre sort of mixed. We get that Chad Lutzke humor, some tongue-in-cheek action. And of course, we get the human horror, because after all, humans are the deadliest monster, and that is a reoccurring theme in Chad Lutzke’s work.
This collection is all over the place, taking bits and pieces of the Lutzke universe, mixing them together, creating nice little surprises around every corner.
The collection kicks off with a bang, as we have a woman who has to start her life over after her husband decides to have an affair. And in doing so she witnesses her son having a “make-believe” friend. Or is he really “Make believe?” You may be questioning yourself by the end of “Predisposition and a Box of Crayons.”
“I Gave Them The Finger” is a fun funny story of a kid finding a finger and searching for the owner. It was amusing.
“A Season For Pruning” will have you looking away, then back to the story, then looking away again. It gives the body horror genre a new definition.
“Hole’s” showcases the voyeurism in all of us. Especially when its someone we don’t like, getting what they deserve.
And then Lutzke ends the collection with ‘Vigil.” This is the definition of some fine writing. This one is deep and makes your heart hurt.
There isn’t a weak story in the bunch. Not at all. I can’t find fault with any of them.
All have the smooth like butter prose we are used to from Lutzke. All are entertaining, bringing us scenarios we know exist, but we don’t think about. They all show different kinds of people, their personalities, their reactions to things, their choices, their mistakes, the way they deal with issues, the monster inside for some, with others showing love and compassion.
Title: Spinal Remains: A Collection of Stories
Author: Chad Lutzke
Publisher: Cemetery Gates Media
Publication Date: August 9, 2022
Format Reviewed: eBook