They Hide: Short Stories to Tell in the Dark by Francesca Maria Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Francesca Maria takes readers on a journey into the depths of darkness to explore the shadowy nature of fear and control in “They Hide: Short Stories to Tell in the Dark”.


The Synopsis

Who are we if not for the monsters that we keep?

They Hide: Short Stories to Tell in the Dark collects thirteen chilling tales that weave through the shadows, exploring the nature of fear, powerlessness, and control.

– A series of murders in a New England colony

– An untamed beast in pre-revolutionary France

– A mysterious stranger who invades 18th-century Ireland

– A traveling circus that takes more than the price of admission

– A gathering of the Dark, telling tales on the longest night of the year, and more.

Come play with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, ghouls and the devil himself. Make sure you check under the bed and don’t turn out the lights.

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The Review

The author does such an incredible job of weaving together a moving yet horrifying collection of stories. The way each story flowed smoothly and kept a great pacing, while still allowing the tension to build and the chills to build up in the reader’s mind made for a truly compelling and captivating collection. 

To me, it was the author’s use of both emotional storytelling and shocking horror moments that made each story shine. Some of my favorite stories in the collection touched upon the dark side of some of my favorite things, from ancient Egyptian mythology in the story “Imhotep”, to the shocking real story of Christmas in “Spreckles” and the gasp-worthy finale in the story “Wendigo”, each story wove between the horrors and emotions of reality with the twisted nature of the strange and the bizarre side of our world and cultures. 

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The Verdict

Memorable, entertaining, and thrilling, author Francesca Maria’s “They Hide: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is a must-read collection of horror short stories that is one of my favorite short story collections of 2023 thus far! The suspense, drama, and heartfelt connection readers make to the characters of these stories and the rich world-building that the author employs throughout this collection will keep readers engaged and eager for more as the last story ends and a new one begins. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Francesca Maria writes dark fiction surrounded by cats near the Pacific Ocean. She is the creator of the Black Cat Chronicles, a true horror comic book series narrated by a mystical black cat. And her short story collection; They Hide: Short Stories to Tell in the Dark will be out in April 7, 2023 from Brigid’s Gate Press. Her short stories and essays can be found in Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Waters series and anthologies and Death’s Garden Revisited.


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