Short Story Review: Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation by Mike Thorn

“Dreams of Lake Drukka” and “Exhumation” explore the unearthing of horrific, long-buried family secrets. Journeying into the darkest recesses of the past, these stories depict the dire consequences of discovering the truth.

Writing about this duology, author Mike Thorn says: “It was only in retrospect that I could see the connections between these two stories. When I revisited them for publication, it struck me that they work well as companion pieces. Both plots depict unfulfilled pacts with supernatural undercurrents, both include journeys to uncover unresolved familial trauma, and both pivot around the revelation of repressed memories. I wanted to explore the relationship between setting and atmosphere in these pieces, and to depict horror within internal and physical ‘sites of trauma.’ The characters are grappling with painful memories / experiences that have held them back, consciously or unconsciously. One story focuses on a character who is the agent of her own revelations, whereas the other story sees someone whose agency is quickly and brutally taken away.”

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Dreams of Lake Drukka and Exhumation are for fans of horror. Both stories deal with family secrets and the consequences of actions in the past.

Dreams of Lake Drukka was my favorite of the two stories. Sharla insists that she and her sister Jeannette go to the lake where their mom drowned several years ago. She knows that something wasn’t right and needs to find out what actually happened. Or should she have just left it alone?

In Exhumation, Abel is attending his cousin’s funeral. He meets another man, Norm, who claims to be a cousin as well; but he has no recollection of Norm, probably because when he met him, it was during the years Abel was on drugs and alcohol. Norm insinuates that Abel was there when something terrible had happened to Alan, and even though Abel has no desire to found out what it was, he may have no choice.

This was a quick read but as a fan of horror, both stories definitely kept my interest.

About the Author

Mike Thorn is the author of Darkest Hours and Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and podcasts, including Dark Moon DigestThe NoSleep PodcastTurn to Ash and Tales to Terrify. His film criticism has been published in MUBI NotebookThe Film StageThe Seventh RowBright Lights Film Journal and Vague Visages. He completed his M.A. with a major in English literature at the University of Calgary, where he wrote a thesis on epistemophobia in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness. Visit his website, follow him on Twitter or contact him by email.

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