REVIEW: “Shepherds’ Business” by Stephen Gallagher

Review of Stephen Gallagher, “Shepherds’ Business”, The Best Horror of the Year Volume Ten, edited by Ellen Datlow (Night Shade Books, 2018): 261—277. Purchase Here. Originally published in New Fears, edited by Mark Morris (Titan Books). Purchase Here. Reviewed by Rob Francis

A lovely story set post-WW2. A locum arrives on a Scottish island to replace the dying GP and faces a few challenges from his initial cases, including a mother grieving a stillborn daughter, her desperate husband, and an old shepherd about to give up the ghost. It’s a little quaint and cosily written; reading it was like taking a warm bath, and I enjoyed it immensely. The horror element is mild but disturbing and I found myself reflecting on the story quite a bit. I wish it was a bit longer, as I would have been keen to linger with Dr Spence. I’ll have to check out Gallagher’s books.