REINCARNAL & Other Tales
By Max Allan Collins
Wolf Pack Publishing
This book collects eleven horror tales by Collins, several in radio script form, that were written over the years for different anthologies. Note, the Table of Contents only lists ten. But hey, quality control ain’t what it used to be. Finding that eleventh was a nice little surprise. Now the tales assembled in this one book run the gambit from twisted horror to genuine black comedy.
“Reincarnal” – Via dreams, a young woman relives her past life in which she met her death at the hands of a demented slasher. Well, set it up with a wonderful climax.
“The Night of Their Lives” – A police detective goes undercover as a hobo to catch a seductive serial killer preying on the homeless in the city’s shantytown.
“A Good Head On His Shoulders” – Lou Carboni was a self-made man who controlled an empire. His undoing was allowing others to take care of the dead bodies he left in his wake.
“Wolf” Jack Wolff like nothing better than seducing nubile young women. They were meat to his lustful diet until he encountered one with a different kind of appetite.
“Not A Creature Was Stirring” – A veteran detective hunts a demented child killer on the week before Christmas.
“Open House” – A reporter specializing in the supernatural agrees to spend a night in an old farmhouse supposedly haunted by a madman who murdered his entire family.
“Traces of Red” – A lonely female vampire longs for love and companionship from a young entertainer.
“Rock ‘N’ Roll, Will Never Die” – Peter Lee wants to stay young forever and a beautiful young groupie may give him what he wants. But always for a price. This story has the best pun-tag line we’ve ever read. Wickedly funny.
“Interstate 666” – The longest story in this collection is our favorite centering on an urban legend that won’t die and the trapped souls seeking revenge on an endless road of horror.
“House of Blood” – A radio play about a quartet of ghost hunters who get more than they bargained for. With al the appropriate sound effects.
“Mercy” – Another radio play. This one about a beautiful high school girl who through tragedy, learns her true holy mission in life is bringing people to the Lord. She does so with great enthusiasm.
In the end, “Reincarnal” is a fun romp through the delightfully twisted imagination of Mr. Collins. It’s a ride we won’t soon forget.