by Tony Richards
Published by Screaming Dreams, 2010.
When pregnant couple Frank and Joannie decide that the city is no place to raise a family their search for a better option leads them to escape into suburbia. Youngesville, their chosen idyll seems like the perfect place, crime free and safe at least on the surface.
It’s not long before Frank starts to have second thoughts, suspicions shared with his brother Jack. The whole place just seems a bit too sensible, too nice. As Jack says it’s almost as if the people are “not living here, any of you…you’re just waiting to die”. The suspicions they have are soon confirmed when Frank begins to note strange behaviour among the neighbours.
Tony Richard’s weaves a fun tale exploring the niceties of suburbia and the underlying horror that pervades Youngesville. Told in a simple, direct prose style it’s a short, punchy story with a suitably horrific ending. Youngesville is populated by a diverse range of suburbanites with hidden dark sides, including the marvellous Leonora who graces the cover. Mixing elements of “The Midwitch Cuckoo’s”, “Desperate Housewives” and the “X-Files” it still manages to retain it’s own identity.
Whilst there is nothing particularly groundbreaking here, this is an enjoyable and entertaining tale. The characters are well drawn and interesting and the pace builds to a dramatic conclusion. Tony Richards has a fine back catalogue which I have only just started to explore. Yuppieville is a fine addition to his work.
Rating 3.5 out of 5