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Norman Partridge ‘Johnny Halloween: Tales of the Dark Season’ Review


Written by: Vitina Molgaard

Hello and a Happy Halloween to all of you our readers. I again perused my Halloween tales and found this wonderful anthology, one that just seems like it deserves some attention as the holiday begins to unwind for the year. Mr. Partridge has a fine feel for this particular day and in his introduction to the book articulates fascinating thoughts not only about his own attraction to the season but the realities of the monster mankind can be.

There are seven stories within his book and all could easily be delved into but that is not where we are going to go with this. My personal favorites are what I’ll discuss here in an attempt to keep it somewhat truncated.

The first star is the title story Johnny Halloween, in which we find a cop who is a local legend. He uses that status to full advantage throughout his career but on this particular night the past is coming back to remind him. Unfortunately, not all legends are (what could be called) “good” legends.

Satan’s Army is the next tale that deserves to be brought to light. We deal with a religious fanatic out to capture and do away with all those that he believes are evil and doing the Devil’s handiwork. Misguided and very powerful he has decided that this shall be the last Halloween ever. There is definitely much evil out and about as the night progresses on, the real question is, just who are the sinister and who are the innocents?

The Man Who Killed Halloween is one which must be discussed here. It is important if only because it deals with a very real monster, one who did these horrific crimes but also because he was never captured and to this day it remains an unsolved case. We’re talking about the one and only Zodiac Killer. A man who changed life for so many people in the late 1980s and truly snatched the joy and fun out of Halloween, while stealing the innocence of many a northern California resident. Mr Partridge has expressed this not only in this story, but in his own reality.

Now the last one I am choosing to illuminate is The Jack O’Lantern …A Dark Harvest Tale.The collection is closed with this one and with a very good reason. This is a very twisted journey about a small town where each year a monster named October Boy is resurrected to wreck havoc on the local teenage boys. We have corrupt police, cruelty beyond belief and a varied collection of twists amongst the characters and their actions. This one goes above and beyond all things insane.

Norman Partridge writes intense stories and this is no exception. I definitely suggest that you pick this up and devour it. Enjoy the quality that starts with the introduction to this book and continues on throughout each of the tales. I certainly did.

Order it here.

Rating: 4/5

About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

3 Comments on Norman Partridge ‘Johnny Halloween: Tales of the Dark Season’ Review

  1. I find anthologies to be very comfortable and stimulating reads. You can start with the story that looks most interesting at the moment and choose one a day or one a week as you like. The reading thread is quite different from novels where you are under the direct flow and commitment of a full novel. Short stories are becoming very fashionable again because you can finish a whole story before going to bed or during a lunch hour (flash fiction works best for that). Didn’t someone declare 2013 the Year of the Short Story? Must be true because I’m seeing more and more anthologies out there. Great review, Vitina.


  2. Thank you Paula. I enjoy a good book full of one tale but also find the anthologies . short stories.and flash fiction to be a nice option. For very many of the same reasons you listed above, they are very handy and afford us the luxury of a quick read . i don’t mean to imply that I still don’t like to find myself wrapped up in a novel that demands my attention, I do but I can have that and a quick flash when I have only so much time to spare and still want a quick fix, so to speak. Just me…


  3. Love the cover. You can tell some real craftsmanship went into making the book. And Norman never disappoints.


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