This is a book review for Rosie’s Book Review Team.
Call Drops is a short horror story by John F Leonard. Call Drops is about Vincent, who finds an old phone in a second-hand shop that only he can hear ring and when he answers, he hears sinister messages on the other end of the line – or nothing at all.
Call Drops is the first in a series of stories inspired by Dead Boxes, which are seemingly ordinary household objects yet have mysterious or dangerous properties.
I recently read a enjoyable selection of short stories by Stephen King called Skeleton Crew. Similarly, Call Drops fits in well with the short horror story genre. The idea of buying something dangerous at a second-hand shop reminded me of another great Stephen King work – Needful Things.
However, Call Drops is on the rather short side of a short story.
I understand short stories are not meant to be overly lengthy, but it felt almost too short for me to truly understand what was happening. I think Leonard spent slightly too much time providing background information about Vincent, rather than describing the supernatural events plaguing him.
I also thought the front cover does not match the style or genre of the book; a close-up image of an older man’s ear is an odd choice.
By the end of the story, I understood the gist of Call Drops and thought it was a similar concept to The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, as Vincent is haunted by the memories of terrible things in his life, just as Poe’s narrator is haunted by reminders of his murderous actions.
I liked what Call Drops was trying to do, though I think it could have been improved by focusing more on events happening now than details of the protagonist’s past.
Star Rating: 2.5/5 Stars