Scare Tactics Author:John Farris SCARE TACTICS by noted author John Farris (The Fury) is a combination of two short stories and a novella. Apparently written early in Farris' career, the collection isn't brilliant, but are nonetheless entertaining. — The first short story, THE ODOR OF VIOLETS, is somewhat reminiscent of Stephen King's SECRET WINDOW. A writer is appro... more »ached by a dying man who wants him to proofread and critique his novel. The skeptical author is amazed when the book is brilliant; especially since he has been working on a novel for eight years and hasn't come up with anything. Of course, we know where the story is heading. The novice writer dies and the author claims he wrote the book; it becomes a best seller, he is on his way to fame and fortune, until the dead writer's "muse" confronts him with his deed. The ending is predictable but it's hauntingly written.
The second story, HORRORSHOW, is a nifty little thriller about a dead girl who uses the local closed up drive in to reveal her killer's identity. Contrived and a little incredulous, it's still a neat and tidy thriller.
The "novel," THE GUARDIANS, is a little preponderous and at times hard to follow, and has an ending that is a little confusing. Focusing on Jim Practice, the aide to a governor, it tells the story of murder, revenge and deception. Practice is a good leading character, and the villains are notably despicable. Not Farris' best work but not as bad as some critics have labeled it.« less