Private Number/Claws – Derek Muk

Title: Private Number
Title: Claws
Author: Derek Muk
Publisher: Unnerving
Genre: Horror/Paranormal

My latest reading experience ended up being two short stories lumped into one book. The cover calls it a double feature. It was a quick read, taking at most a couple hours to whip through the two separate stories and I got a chance to see a little more of what Muk has to offer.

I like monster hunting stories so much that my favorite game, The Witcher is essentially that, a long monster hunting experience. So I was intrigued to start reading this.

I have read Muk before and this was a definite improvement from the last story I read by him. I found Private Number to be the more intriguing and original story as Claws was more predictable. As stand alone stories they were developed, mysterious, and of course gory. Overall, the character of Albert Taylor, a paranormal investigator was catchy and I liked the initial concept.

However, I felt Albert needed more character development, as he felt monotone and lacking in personality. I think that was the crux of the issue for me for both of these stories. I just wanted more from Albert. He made some sarcastic comments here and there, but they weren’t enough to solidify who Albert is? Give him a vice, give him passion, make him a jerk, or make him the nicest guy ever, but make him something and someone I can remember. I would say that this is the major issue Muk needs to work on as far as all of his characters go.

Overall, it was a decent diversion for the evening. I look forward to watching Muk grow as an author as I know he will. If you like monster hunting stories, this will satisfy that longing. You can find the story on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.

Synopsis: An Albert Taylor Mystery Double Feature

Private Number: A radio station receives a strange call from a caller from beyond the grave, at least that’s what’s claimed. But is it a hoax, a crank caller, or is the person truly dead? When things get more baffling paranormal investigator, Albert Taylor, steps in to look into matters that harbor a dark and evil secret.

Claws: A series of brutal and savage animal-like murders rattle the small mining town of Brewster, Nevada, a quiet, little community where such atrocities are unheard of, where everyone knows each other’s name, and where you can leave your door unlocked at night…until now that is. Weird animal hairs are discovered at each of the crime scenes. Is it an animal or a sinister creature of myth and lore lurking in the woods? When the body count starts racking up and tension among the townspeople rises, the town turns to paranormal investigator, Albert Taylor, to sort matters and lay his traps for the predator.


Derek Muk is a writer and social worker from California. His short stories have appeared in various online and small press magazines.

He has three chapbooks published: “Three Parts,” “The Sacrifice and Other Stories,” and “Sin after Sin.” In addition to writing, he enjoys reading, traveling, museums, art, dining out, and meeting new people. He has a bachelors and masters degree in social work.

“The Occult Files of Albert Taylor” is his first full length collection of short stories.









OWL Rating:

**We received the story for free in exchange for an honest review


This entry was posted by thruthewords.

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