PNW Review Series – Split Scream: Volume 3

Dread Stone Press presents SPLIT SCREAM, a Horror Novelette Double Feature. This is Volume Three. Grab some popcorn, turn the lights low, and don’t be afraid to scream.


“So Quiet, So White” – Patrick Barb

Roger Grimsby, a small-town curmudgeon known for his ’80s horror paperback cover art, believes an ancient, bloodthirsty entity with ties to his family may have reemerged. But how does this connect to his wayward grandson, who prying police detectives and grieving parents blame for a recent knife attack massacre at a nearby summer camp? “So Quiet, So White” is cosmic folk horror that balances the act of creation through destructive forces, with the Grimsby family at the fulcrum. Prepare for bloodshed and the beauty found within.

“Imago Expulsio (The Red Animal of Our Blood)” – J.A.W. McCarthy

Shauna’s infatuation with the enigmatic painter she meets at art school escalates into unwavering devotion when she learns about the mercilessly brutal cat and mouse game that has consumed Elise’s life. She vows to protect her, to keep her safe—but how far will she go to keep her promise? A self-portrait vomits viscera and the sinister secrets that lie at the heart of the decadently deranged “Imago Expulsio (The Red Animal of Our Blood),” where body parts and gore become fine art.

Are you looking for a taste of what the horror genre has to offer? There’s no better place to start than with shorter fiction. Though, where short stories can sometimes feel too short and novels can overstay their welcome, the novelette is just right. The Split Scream series of collections feature novelettes by talented authors in the horror scene. Split Scream: Volume Three gives readers two offerings: “So Quiet, So White: by Patrick Barb and “Imago Expulsio (The Red Animal of Our Blood)” by J.A.W. McCarthy, a fellow Pacific Northwest writer.

In the cosmic folk horror tale “So Quiet, So White”, Patrick Barb introduces readers to the Grimsby family, a multi-generation family of creatives with a dark secret. While in “Imago Expulsio (The Red Animal of Our Blood” McCarthy gives readers a Weird body horror romance made up of equal parts gore, eroticism, and terror.

These two stories explore themes of what it means to be family as well as the extremes of romantic obsession. Both are dark in tone, delving into very serious topics all while providing readers everything and more that they could want in mid-length horror.

Readers interested in exploring the best of what is available in indie and small press horror will not be disappointed in Split Scream: Volume Three. Get a sample of what is in store for those with darker tastes in the wilder world of fiction outside of the big five publishers.

I give Split Scream: Volume 3 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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