31 Shots of Shock #5: ‘The Pier’ by Thana Niveau

*Title: ‘The Pier’ by Thana Niveau.
Date Read: 05 October 2011
Available Online?: NO (available in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 22 (Constable & Robinson))
Briefly: Dragging his reluctant and increasingly angry wife Claudia along to a dilapidated Victorian pier, it soon becomes clear to Alan (and his wife) that there’s something rather odd about the place. His suspicions increase when he begins reading the myriad of small memorial plaques which line the pier’s decking and railings; the messages are not as cliched or as ‘in memorium’ as he might have expected.
Afterthoughts: I’ve never heard of or seen commemorative plaques on piers before, so this story from horror writer, Thana Niveau brought them to light for me, and in a wholly imaginative way. Inspired by the memorial plaques found on the pier in her own hometown of Cleveland – which she admits are nowhere near as morbid as the ones found in the story – Niveau presents a tale which isn’t particularly scary (by my standards, but I am massively desensitized :)), but it’s straightforward, readable and moderately entertaining. Certainly a story for anyone but perhaps one which is more suited to teens and young adults.
Notable Quote: She advanced several uncertain steps, shaking her head in response to what she read. “There’s something not right about them. I mean, look at this: ‘You reap what you sow’. What the hell kind of memorial is that?”

Rating: ★★★½☆

*Story read as part of my 2011 31 Shots of Shock reading project.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).