When a child mysteriously disappears from a small town and even his mother seems indifferent, it’s time for the new sheriff to step in.
Meet Chris Baker, the new sheriff of the quiet Adirondack town of Clifton Heights. As one inexplicable case after another forces him to confront the townsfolk in The Skylark Diner, it’s the furtive Gavin Patchett that hands Chris a collection of not-so-fictional short stories that tumbles him into a world of monsters, ageless demons, and vengeful citizens.
As Chris reads through the stories the veil starts to lift, and he soon questions what is real and what’s not, and whether he really wants to know.
Nothing will ever be the same again.
So welcome to Clifton Heights, New York, an average Adirondack town, and nice enough in its own right. Except after dark, under the pale light of the moon. Or on a road out of town that never ends, or in an old house on the edge of town with a will of its own. The town's nice enough, honestly. Except after dark. Or on cold winter days when you're all alone...
The Clifton Heights Saga includes:
Book 2: Through a Mirror, Darkly
Book 3: Devourer of Souls
Proudly brought to you by Crystal Lake Publishing – Tales from the Darkest Depths
Interview with the Author:
What makes Things Slip Through so special?
In many ways, I feel like this is my personal philosophy for the weirdness of the world. Without ascribing to any one philosophy of the hereafter, what if there are other dimensions, other realities out there, and in certain places in our world, the corners don't quite meet, aren't quite square, leaving cracks...and sometimes, in this strange world of ours...don't things slip through from other worlds to this one, and vice versa? It's what made the Twilight Zone so powerful. We're all just one odd step away from slipping through to someplace like our world, but not exactly like it...
Tell us more about your lead characters?
The main characters in the framing device are Gavin Patchett – at this point failed author and now high school English teacher – and Chris Baker, new sheriff and widower. Chris Baker is trying to solve a missing child case and is stymied by the seeming reticence of anyone in Clifton Heights to do or say anything which might lead to some answers. In the year he's worked in Clifton Heights, he's sensed something...off about the town. It's a nice town, filled with good people...and something else. Chris finally presses the question to his small group of friends: Father Ward, Headmaster at All Saints High, Gavin Patchett, English teacher at Clifton Heights High and Fitzy, a doctor from Utica. Gavin takes Chris to The Skylark Diner to share with him the secrets of Clifton Heights, in the form of stories he's written...or perhaps, channeled.
What's up with the town of Clifton Heights?
To be honest, I have no idea, and I'm not sure I want one. Charles L. Grant never explained the source of his fictional town's weirdness, Oxrun Station, (though maybe he intended to before passing away), and even though I've toyed with the idea of some ancient evil slumbering in Clifton Heights, or some cataclysmic mystical event cracking the boundaries between worlds, I'm still unsure if such a thing would be satisfying, or ruin some of the mystery. If it could be done in a satisfying way - such as how Gary Braunbeck has done in his Cedar Hill Cycle – I'd love to do it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Things begins with main character Chris, the new town sheriff of Clifton Heights, who one night confronts a small group of his friends regarding mysterious disappearances and...happenings...within the town limits. Being that these friends have always been local, Chris believes they know more than he does regarding these mysteries and resolves to get answers. Taken up on the offer to openly discuss any and all details, Chris and one of this friends, Gavin, head off to The Skylark Diner - a local establishment open 24 hours that allows them the time and the quiet (not the mention the fuel by way of diner food) to get through a night of disturbing town history. This is where the meat and potatoes of the collection - the stories - come into play. A neat storytelling device, the stories are actual stories in the context of the book - written by Gavin himself, who was once a published author before...succumbing to difficulties. As it happens, Gavin shares his handwritten tales with Chris, who reads them when we do. Right off the bat I was hooked. Lucia jumps right into the story. There's no prologue or lengthy opening chapter that describes how these characters have met, gotten along, attended the same get-togethers and such - you learn these details through the progression of the book. The writing is sparse and effective. Where many genre writers can get bogged down writing forever in exposition, Lucia cuts right to the bone. His main character, Chris, is already bothered and frustrated by his lack of town knowledge on the first page, and doesn't waste time letting his friends know about it. As it is with short story collections, readers will have their favorites. I won't get into discussing each tale, but, surprisingly, I found I was drawn more into the tales that focused more on the flawed people in this town ("Lament", "On A Midnight Black Chessie" especially, to name a few) than I was the stories where horror came into play ("The Sliding", "Lonely Places"). This surprises me because I'm very much a fan of the supernatural. Lucia is very good with both types of stories, but I felt more effected when I knew more about the characters and learned of their darker sides. "Lament" is an amazing opening story. It's harsh with its language and brutal and vicious in terms of its events, yet really makes you feel for some of the characters. One story, "Brother's Keeper", is a good mix of both character and horror, and is quite grisly to boot. The ultimate success of Things Slip Through is in its tone. These are some dark stories. And it's a credit to Lucia's talent that Things keeps moving. In his restraint, Lucia keeps us present with the people of his town instead of hammering us with too many thoughts or over-explanation. Writers do tend to be wordy, but Lucia keeps it lean and mean. That speaks of his confidence in his material. Overall, Things Slip Through makes a great Halloween read. It also serves well any time after dark. Or (as it goes) on cold winter days when you're all alone...