Book review ‘I hear the clattering of the Keys (and other Fever Dreams)’

  • Writer: Jamie Stewart
  • Publisher: independently published
  • Publishing year: 2021
  • Number of pages: 175 (kindle)
  • My rating: 4/5


This debut collection from Jamie Stewart is a collection of macabre tales where ordinary lives find themselves shattered by forces that lurk on the fringes of existence.

Meet Alan Madden, who only wants to offer his son advice, even after his death; or Susie Granger, who worries for her neighbour Jane, known to everyone else as The Witch of Denison Street; or Sabina Kyle, who gets a special birthday present that – for a price – can make her dreams come true.

Jamie Stewart, co-editor of Welcome to the Funhouse, presents seven nightmarish tales that peel back the skin of normality to show that insanity and horror are only a scrape away.


Dead Air
Trick or Treat
The Beach House
Alfie and the Dead Girls
The Woman Under the White Tree
I Hear the Clattering of the Keys


Jamie Stewart

This man on the picture is the writer of these seven fantastic stories, all packing an impact on its readers.

Jamie can be found on Instagram and Twitter and is always up for a great talk about all things life and of course his tales of suspense and horror! (and his lovely dogs!!)

His longer stories such as Trick or Treat, Alfie and the Girls and The Woman under the White Tree leave an impression that he is the sort of writer that loves to grab you by the throat, squeezing it just enough to get your attention, leaving an imprint and have you craving for more!

Dead Air: a trucker hears his fathers voice on his CB radio. His father has something very important to tell his son. This is a short story that reads real fast and leaves you wondering afterwards!

Insular: The writing is really good, Jamie manages to capture his reader’s attention with a good balance between eerie and suspense
The story itself starts out with a man telling us his experiences with a colleague, gives others impression something awful is going to happen… and that’s where I expected something else so I was kind of left wondering if that was it? It’s a good story but the ending felt like what happened eventually could (should?) have been scarier (?) Insular might be my least favourite of the collection, that doesn’t mean it isn’t beautifully written. On the contrary, his prose is wonderful, with the right amount of description and metaphors and imagery.

Trick or Treat: when last Halloween a child disappeared and was found brutally murdered, ripped to pieces, no child and especially no parent is crazy about letting their children roam the streets by themselves for this years Halloween trick or treating. And the murdered boy’s mother is planning something this year, digging and burning bacon and leaving an invite for The Reaper Man to come join her private party. This was my favourite in the collection! Another great indie horror story, I’m willing to endorse and to advertise on every platform available!
At first I was sidetracked and thought, this will be a haunted house story, then I thought ‘nope, it’s witching hour… and then came the Reaper’s Man! 😉

The Beach House: Who owns that beach house above their private beach? What happens there? – This little tale left me wondering… wondering what more could be told about that house! Maybe Jamie could write some sort of prequel?

Alfie and the Dead Girls: On her first day of ‘Big School’ Emma wants to meet with the boy she’s been chatting with all this Summer, Alfie. But Alfie is a no-show. Who does appear is the enigmatic creep in the old car trying to kidnap her. But her father manages to stop him, by beating up the guy to pulp, leading to him being charged with a harassment case. Will justice prevail? A parent’s biggest nightmare: what if someone tries to kidnap your daughter? Even worse: what if you are able to stop him from doing it but that means kicking that man’s butt in order to stop him and you are the one being on trial? This is a captivating short about action and reaction, consequence and the dangers of internet/social media! And justice, or lack there of.

The Woman under the White Tree: An eerie tale about a witch wreaking havoc on a road, told by a priest to his apprentice, while they bless the road and the crossroads on it! Beware of the witch and have faith!

I hear the clattering of the Keys: the moment that typewriter entered the house, something changed in Sabrina Kyle. She needed to write and nothing could keep her from doing it. Not even her girlfriend, Emily or her homophobic father. This story must be written! No matter what! Great tale, cruel and eerie! A great addition to the collection!

Also worth mentioning is the fact that he doesn’t shy away from controversy… paedophilia, abuse, murder… fortunately these atrocious themes make for good horror stories.

And spot the link between Alfie and the Dead Girls and The Woman under the White Tree!

Great job with this first collection! Earlier this year he also published ‘Price Manor: the House that Bleeds’, a series he wrote with Jay Alexander and Mike Salt (each wrote a book about Price Manor!) and later this year Jamie will publish ‘Montague’s Carnival of Delights and Terror’ so that’s something worth looking out for! All his books are available on Amazon!

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