The book cover of Diabolica Britannica

Diabolica Britannica is an anthology of 14 British horror stories, with all profits going towards the NHS.

Thank you to Yvonne of Insidious Book Tours, who sent me a free copy of Diabolica Britannica in return for an honest review as part of a blog tour.

Diabolica Britannica is a collection of 14 British horror stories, with an introduction written by Ramsey Campbell. It was compiled by Keith Anthony Baird, who has also contributed a short story.

You can find Diabolica Britannica on Goodreads, and buy a copy on Amazon for Kindle. All profits from this anthology will go to fund the NHS’ efforts in COVID-19 research.

My review

I really enjoy reading short stories, but never seem to read as many as I’d like. So I was really pleased when Yvonne invited me to take part in the blog tour for Diabolica Britannica — and it’s been published to support a very worthy cause. The fact that all the stories celebrate British horror makes it even more apt that it supports the NHS and COVID-19 research.

The stories take you from Cornwall and Devon, to Tower Hill in London, all the way up to Cumbria. There’s also a mix of horror genres so there’s something to suit all tastes, including fast-paced action, werewolves, vampires and gothic horror.

Here are some of my personal favourite stories from the collection:

  • Carreg Samson by Catherine McCarthy. This story is told from the point of view of a statue in Pembrokeshire, which has stood for over 5,000 years. He talks of the horrors of mankind and the damage we inflict on the planet, such as the Industrial Revolution and the “plastic plague”. The tone of voice and writing style was amazing and it’s the perfect story to start this collection, as well as a reminder of the damage we are doing to the world.
  • The Secret of Westport Fell by Beverley Lee. Flora Jameson tells this story from her point of view. She is 27 and unmarried. As punishment for rejecting a marriage proposal, she has been sent to Seafell House to care for her aunt, who is sick and dying. This story is reminiscent of traditional gothic horror stories and was absolutely chilling — it gave me shivers!
  • The Conductor  by Arthur M Harper. This story is told from the point of view of Gary, and it sucked me in straight away. He has just been dumped by his girlfriend, Alison, and fled to the nearest train station. There, he finds himself being watched by a mysterious train conductor. The writing is fantastic with some evocative imagery. One of my favourites was “The conductor’s outline is like a letter, lovingly crafted in black ink, but destroyed by a spilled drinking glass.” The story is fast-paced and I was sucked in straight away!
  • Footsteps by Janine Pipe. You can’t have a horror anthology without a good werewolf tale. This one is focused on a group of young women who decide to go camping overnight in Dorset, despite reports of people going missing in the area. It’s fast-paced and more of a traditional horror story, but I loved its twist on the usual werewolf tale.
  • Linger by John F Leonard. Edward has just inherited a large manor house and has become a millionaire after his father passed away. He never met him and can’t believe his luck. To receive his fortune, he must spend six months at the house. This is a chilling and unexpected twist on the traditional inheritance trope! I really enjoyed it and it was utterly terrifying. It mentions that it is set in a ‘post-Outbreak world’, making it feel particularly modern!

Diabolica Britannica is a fantastic celebration of British horror. All 14 stories were thrilling and engaging reads, and with a mix of styles, you’re sure to find a few favourites in this collection. It’s the perfect read as we start to look towards autumn and Halloween. And, with profits going towards the NHS, there’s really no excuse not to buy a copy!

The blurb for Diabolica Britannica

Diabolica Britannica is a collection of 14 dark tales from the dark isles. It features contributions from the following authors: Adam L G Nevill, Tim Lebbon, Keith Anthony Baird, John F Leonard, Morgan K Tanner, Arthur M Harper, Christopher Henderson, Beverley Lee, Sarah E England, Catherine McCarthy, Stephanie Ellis, Janine Pipe, Sarah J Budd and Alyson Faye.

Genre legend Ramsey Campbell contributes with an insightful foreword and puts his stamp on another addition to British horror’s legacy. All for a good cause, the profits from this anthology will go to fund the NHS’ efforts in COVID-19 research.

So explore every corner of this compendium and be pulled into the shadowy depths of the dark isles.

Blog tour organised by Insidious Book Tours

Diabolica Britannica blog tour banner - 1st - 7th September

Make sure you check out the other bloggers taking part in the blog tour for Diabolica Britannica:

You can find Diabolica Britannica on Goodreads, and buy a copy on Amazon for Kindle. All profits from this anthology will go to fund the NHS’ efforts in COVID-19 research.