Short Story Review: Madeline

Hello Bookworms!

I hope you’re having a good start to your week. I know I am!

After finishing my last read it was time for another short story read, and this time I picked Madeline by Craig McGray.


Fun fact, this is another freebie, yay! I’ve been reading one too many TOR freebies to the point of burnout, so instead I went the Amazon route. You can check this free read out here.

So yeah, as you can probably tell, this Madeline is not the happy-go-lucky little french girl people usually associate with the name. Far from it!

I’ve never read anything by Craig McGray before, so I just dove right in.


Madeline is a short horror story of approximately 3000 words.

A shed full of macabre secrets… A wife gone crazy… A nine-year-old girl that must die.

Jonah fights for his life while trying to stop his deranged wife from killing their daughter in the name of the Lord.

Sometimes, the Devil truly is in the details.


The Review



I gave this short story three stars.

The blurb pretty much explains it all. A husband named Jonah comes home one night to find that his wife has apparently lost her marbles and is trying to sacrifice his daughter. Chaos ensues.

I wanted to love this story, but there were several things that just didn’t hit the mark for me.

First off, the characters. The story centers around Jonah, his wife, and his daughter Madeline. I felt that overall the characters were perhaps a bit too simple. Yes, this is a short story, but we still have to have enough backstory to connect the dots and establish their personalities.

We did get a bit of backstory with his wife as far as how strange she was being, but there’s not much more than that. By fleshing it out just a bit more, this story would’ve felt more complete. As is, the characters feel two-dimensional.

The plot was simple and definitely horror, but again, I wanted more. We get a smidgeon of buildup, then the rest of the story is gore and chaos. As much as I love my chaos, we went balls to the wall too quickly. I didn’t have enough time to build any feelings towards the characters. On the gore, some of the extent of the physical damage from what happens didn’t make enough sense to me. I also don’t believe the chronology of the ending made complete sense either.

I do have to say that the technical level of writing was pretty solid, and that kept me going along. This was pretty easy to read, and I like that in anything I read. No purple prose here!

Overall, while this short story was fun, gory, and ambitious, the plot and characters could’ve been done better. On to the next read!


That’s A Wrap!

Well that’s it for this short story review. I hope you enjoyed it!

Have you read this story? Are there other short stories you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!

Have a great day!


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    • Yeah, the horror factor was really there. I mean, I would be terrified if my significant other was becoming obsessed with sacrificing my cat or something.

      Very welcome! 🙂

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