“Johnny Halloween”, the collection's titular story, in which an aging sheriff faces a specter from the past who brings back unpleasant memories; “Satan's Army” a dark, sardonic tale about the depths religious fanatics are willing to reach in order to convince people Halloween is evil; “Black Leather Kites”, a tale featuring two old friends facing off against an impossible otherworldly threat on Halloween Night; “Three Doors” a story about Johnny Meyers and his magic black hand and a ghost from the past that won't go away, and “The Jack O' Lantern”, a novelette set in the world of Patridge's novel Dark Harvest. With power struggles between corrupt cops and a new incarnation of the October Boy toting a shotgun, it's easily the best story of the bunch.
Like in Dark Harvest and Lesser Demons, Partridge continues to strike bold new ground, carving out new territory through familiar stories. He does this with style and incredible voice, however, and readers can be sure that with Norman Partridge at the wheel, quality is never sacrificed just for the sake of something new.
Kevin Lucia is the Review Editor for Shroud Magazine. His short fiction has appeared in several anthologies. He's currently finishing his Creative Writing Masters Degree at Binghamton University, he teaches high school English and lives in Castle Creek, New York with his wife and children. He is the author of Hiram Grange & The Chosen One, Book Four of The Hiram Grange Chronicles. Visit him on the web at www.kevinlucia.com.