Cold Turkey

New bonus story: The Cold Turkey ebook now includes Carole Johnstone’s 2014 British Fantasy Award-winning short story “Signs of the Times”.

“I saw him Mr Munroe.” A sly look lit up Jimmy’s blinking eyes. “He’s always chasing you.”

Raym’s hand froze in front of his chest, creeping back up towards his throat again. “What?”

“In a funny square van.” The kid blinked, blinked, blinked. He wooshed his hands either side of his body like he was starting a drag race, and Raym flinched again. “It’s got black tails – really, really looong ones, like party streamers!”

All Raym wants to do is give up smoking. So why is his entire life falling apart? Why are new mistakes and old terrors conspiring against him? Why is he being plagued by the very worst spectre from his childhood? And why does giving up suddenly – horrifyingly – feel much, much more like giving in?

The 38,500-word novella is already picking up rave reviews:

“Carole has written out of her skin for this novella. How can reading something so dark and insidiously uneasy offer the reader so much pleasure? Cold Turkey is a hammer and Carole Johnstone will cave your skull in with it. Brilliant”
—Johnny Mains

“Carole Johnstone has the canny knack of making the real seem strange and the weird commonplace. In Cold Turkey, addiction and compulsion spirals downwards into imagined and real nightmares. Top Hat, a creation to rival King’s Pennywise, rides through the urban Scottish landscape that Johnstone has created with an absolute sense of place. Her laugh out loud humour balances her harshness and puts you off-guard before delivering the final blow; if you get in bed with the devil, he’s going to fuck you over at some point”
—Priya Sharma

“Cold Turkey is rich with nightmarish invention. Johnstone has created a very distinctive villain with the sinister top-hatted tally-van man, yet knows when to hold him back to let other horrors take centre stage. There’s an addictive quality to the well-paced prose that makes reading Johnstone’s stories a habit you’ll never want to kick, and this one’s so good it’s probably bad for you”
—Ray Cluley

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