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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Under the Surface: A Collective of Stories to Haunt Your Dreams is a collection of dark horror short stories written by Ashton Rogers. Jim knew he would have to cool his affair with Susan -- at least for a little while. His wife, Carol, was getting increasingly testy about his long hours at the office, and when he woke up that morning to the sound of her sobbing, he promised her an early night of romance, a date night. Carol seemed to perk up a bit at his promises and even offered to make him a shepherd’s pie for dinner that night. After he left, he texted Susan, but his newly found resolve to cool things down melted in the face of the latest images Susan sent his way. The shepherd’s pie that night was bliss itself; Carol had always made great pies, but this one was somehow even better than usual. While they watched their favorite TV show that night and went about getting reacquainted with each other, Jim kept on thinking about those pictures. Susan’s impromptu call proved to be an irresistible temptation, but something was horribly different.
Ashton Rogers’s collection of dark horror stories, Under the Surface: A Collective of Stories to Haunt Your Dreams, is well-written and likely to make readers wonder if they really should eat that spicy dinner so late at night. Rogers’s stories fall squarely into the realm of the macabre, and you can’t help but have sympathy for any character ensnared in the author’s Byzantine plots. I especially appreciated the unifying threads of some of these tales. Rogers’s stories are well-written, and his characters are credible and noteworthy, even while they seem doomed by the fact of their very presence in this dark collection. Under the Surface: A Collective of Stories to Haunt Your Dreams is highly recommended.