Chantal Noordeloos is a pretty new name to the world of horror but she is quickly finding her place in the realm of female authors. Her latest piece of work, Even Hell Has Standards: Pride, is part of a larger project based on the seven deadly sins but has also been released as a stand-alone novelette in e-format.
The title of this piece is short, just giving us the name of the sin involved and nothing more, but it is deceiving in its simplicity as this story is anything but.
Straight away we are introduced to a less than lovable character called Adolf Zakerny, a serial killer who tortures and murders children and adults alike, who’s only goal in life is to become the epitome of evil, and he does it well. Within the first few paragraphs the main character dies which may seem strange but it quickly becomes apparent that this really is just the beginning.
From this point we are taken hand in hand with Zakerny as he begins his decent into hell, and what a journey it is. In less than fifteen thousand words, Chantal Noordeloos manages to turn every common perception of Hell inside out and upside down as Zakerny quickly finds that Hell isn’t quite what he imagined it to be and that he may not be welcomed as warmly as he thought he would.
As it is quite short (something that’s reflected in the price) I don’t want to say too much about the storyline, but I can say that it is well-written, descriptive and gripped me from start to finish. If I were to find criticism with the story, it would be that it is too short. I would have loved to read more about the killer before his decent into Hell but that would have taken away from the goal of the story. Maybe the author can be persuaded to write the life story of Adolf Zakerny at a later date.
I should also say, in full disclosure, that I had the pleasure of working as editor on this story, and a pleasure it was. Chantal Noordeloos is a talented author and I’ve a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the coming years.
You can pick up a copy of Even Hell Has Standards: Pride here: