Review of "The Secret of Aniceto Cuevas," a short story by Jack Hughes and Peter Lewis
Summary:In 1939, an English businessman is sent to San Juan, Puerto Rico to complete a deal for his firm. While there, he meets the fascinating and charismatic Aniceto Cuevas, a man who seems to truly have it all. He soon learns, however, that there is much more beneath the surface of Aniceto, and when the facade begins to unravel, a shocking discovery is made.
A gripping tale with a writing style that seems to ooze with the same charisma of Aniceto Cuevas himself. Aniceto is rich, cultured, well-spoken and seems to know everything about everything. You can't help but feel caught up with the protagonist as he strives to impress the type of man that everyone wants to be.
Without revealing too much, the story naturally leads to the reveal that not all is as it seems with Aniceto. A tragedy in his past seems to have permanently twisted his mind to the point where he can't enjoy his present accomplishments.
While the story and its ending are good, I can't help but feel that the "shock" factor was built up to be more than it really was. Had this been an Edgar Allen Poe plot, such a twist would have been considered cutting edge horror. Since it is a post-Poe story, I would classify Aniceto as "messed up" rather than shocking (which implies a level of horror never before imagined).
Still, this story is certainly worth a read. It has that classic horror vibe to it that short story lovers usually adore.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
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