Subterranean Heartbeats by Diana Kemp-Jones

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Book Information  
AuthorDiana Kemp-Jones
TitleSubterranean Heartbeats
GenreScience Fiction
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Jeanne Allen
(Jan 06, 2001)

Subterranean Heartbeats is a collection of sixteen Twilight Zone-type stories. They are compelling tales which delve into our most haunting nightmares."Arcade" is a futuristic tale of a young boy named Noah who ignores the warnings of his townspeople and soon learns the shocking truth as to why certain places are designated as off limits. In "Black Soul," young Lauren is determined to find out who's responsible for the disappearance of the neighborhood's pets, certain it has something to do with that old Mrs. Burdock next door."Devil's Garden" has Kathy, after leaving an abusive boyfriend, living in a rundown apartment building where a sinister ivy plant lurks, waiting for unsuspecting victims to draw near. In the surrealistic "Serenade," Mara's ability to tap into another dimension enables her to learn the truth about her parents' death at sea. Liz's daughter Marcy is her shining star during hard times, but her ex-husband's evil threat to their happiness will terrify in "White Sands." And there's the poignantly written "Lonely Highway." After having committed a grisly crime, Cody Harker chooses an anonymous lifestyle until an irresistible temptation makes him come into the open and face his darkest fears.While some of the stories are suitable for older children, others graphically depict the seamy side of adult life. Dialogue is realistic, gritty at times. From richly described settings to the heartfelt yearnings that run deep in her characters, Ms. Kemp-Jones packs a lot into each story. Common to all the stories are plots which twist into unthought-of endings, each giving me cause to reevaluate what I thought I had been reading. Ms. Kemp-Jones is a master of luring you into the plot until it is beyond your ability to retreat, often times leaving you dangling from a craggy precipice, left to wonder with awe, When had the road taken this turn? At what point did I begin to lose solid footing?If you enjoy well-written and eerily suspenseful--all right, downright spooky narratives which take you in unforeseen directions, then Subterranean Heartbeats will hook you from the first page!Note: The CD version of Subterranean Heartbeats contains impressive illustrations by Slawek Wojtowicz that vividly capture the essence of each story.Jeanne Allen --

Submitted by S. Joan Pope
(Nov 24, 2000)

If you are one of those people who loves Alfred Hitchcock type endings, this book is for you. Diana has compiled a hair-raising collection of short stories all with an underlying theme of the supernatural, surreal and downright scary plots. Each story rivals the next one for terror. From ARCADE the first story in which a young boy in the distant future finds a forbidden playground left by the ancients and is thrown into a scenario of horror and murder beyond his imagination, to the last one, WHITE SANDS, where a young mother battles the forces of evil for her daughter's soul you will be on edge wondering what's next. The topics are controversial ranging from murder, to Satan worship to pornography and drug dealing, to the fact that elusive "inner ugliness" can be as apparent as "inner beauty" and can even transform into tangible horror. She leaves no taboo subject untouched as she regales us with tales of dismemberment and ghosts, horrors from other dimensions and of a murdered child's revenge. Most of the stories in this collection have a shocking ending, but Diana has taken pity on her readers and sprinkled generous portions of hope and happier endings to some of the stories. Although each tale seems to be "unfinished" (As Hitchcock's often were) the reader is challenged to think and is left with an glimpse of more to come from the depths of his or her own mind. This is an unusual collection, and those who enjoy the macabre and unusual horror story will enjoy SUBTERRANEAN HEARTBEATS

REVIEW by S. Joan Pope with Millennium SF&F - Recommended

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