Hellbound Hearts: The Confessor’s Tale Short Story Review

Short Story: “The Confessor’s Tale”

Now this is what I’ve been waiting for! “The Confessor’s Tale”, written by Sarah Pinborough is a Hellraiser story through and through. An interesting tale, with some violent scenes and a delightfully satisfying ending. So, let’s get on with this review and stick a pin in it…

Up first, a quick summary with some very small spoilers. “The Confessor’s Tale” is a story of Arkady, a boy with no tongue and an extreme desensitized view on the world that surrounds him. One day, while clearing out some belongings of his parents, Arkady is given an old puzzle box that was once owned by his mother. The puzzle consist of small grey tiles with black ink engravings that can be pieced together. At first, the puzzle seems to do nothing, but after some strange encounters with some people who confess to wrong doings, the puzzle pieces start to mysteriously change. (I think you can figure out where this is going.)

After being let down with the previous entry in Hellbound Hearts, “The Confessor’s Tale” brings home a quality Hellraiser story. The build up to the ending is quick, almost too quick (a fault it seems with these short stories), but the payoff is a heart grabbing throwback to the good ol’ days. What might seem like fan-service in overdrive, I felt the ending, with it’s nods to The Hellbound Heart novella (e.g. a hint of vanilla, a return of some old friends) and the final destination of certain characters,was a gruesome delight. This was definitely one story I would love to see expanded upon. I want to know more about the history of the puzzle box Arkady is given. Why did his mother have it and how did she obtain it? In the words of Dr. Channard, we have to see, we have to know. (Of course, we all know what happens when you seek something too much.) 

With that my fiends, Hellbound Hearts is back on track with this third short story. Up next is “Hellbound Hollywood”, written by Mick Garris. I enjoy Mick Garris’ work, so hopefully he doesn’t disappoint.

‘Til next time readers…

Rating: 4.5/5

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Bob Milne
Bob Milne
11 years ago

Stopping by from the Horror Blogger Alliance . . .

Hellbound Hearts was a bit uneven, but overall a great collection. Now, if Barker would just get it together and finish his Pinhead/Harry D'Amour novel, we'll all be happy. 🙂

11 years ago

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Jesse Vincent
Jesse Vincent
9 years ago

Admittedly some of the stories in the book don't live up to expectations, but this one delightfully does and was a truly "Hellraiser" worthy story with a nice plot and fantastic ending. Thank you for writing a review on it!

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