Real-Time Review continued from HERE
Wicken Fen - Paul Finch
"They oozed sexiness..."
Another worthy story, this time written by the anthology's editor. Here, now, aptly, we have a riparian reality, or in other words, a waterway, one with locks, called a 'lode' in the Wicken Fen area near Ely and the other Fens, where I myself enjoyed a holiday a number of months ago. The photo to the left is one I took in Wicken Fen. This is a come-uppance story (to match the Johnson story, because any robbery or disloyalty or conceded-to temptation by Man is a common (Shucks!) mis-symbiosis). This Finch story is a skilful suspenseful page-turner, with very evocative, often darkly poetic conveyance of the 'genius loci' (to which I can testify from my own experience of the place), possessing that delightfully disturbing, acute, yet textured, horror prose of the horror genre, as our two male narrow-boaters, 'suffering' this book's many earlier marital strains, meet shape-shifters that, here, are "perfectly shaped". So sexily described, I fell for them, myself. At one moment 'Warm and Comfortable Terror' with its satisfying echoes of 'Three Miles Up' (cf: the pair's fatal 'three point turn' of the narrow boat) and of 'The Willows', both classic ghost stories, yet all such great stories, including the Finch, contain real uncomfortably chilling Terror, too, amid the sodden greens and 'crimson cavities'. A fuckerlode of a story. (16 Oct 12 - 4.20 pm bst)