Fifty-something Tullis travels to the seaside town where he plans to open his own burger bar; there’s just the little problem of the locals not being too happy about it — and the nagging feeling of a childhood memory just out of reach, which points to something rather disturbing about the theatre annexe that Tullis has bought.

Over the course of these Null Immortalis posts, I’ve talked a couple of times about stories whose elements I’d wish cohered a little more than they do. ‘Strings Attached’ is the opposite: a tale which is all the stronger because its elements don’t quite cohere. Fry hints at something dark, then suggests an explanation; but the events of the story don’t support that explanation fully — and there’s a sense that what’s happening here will not submit to any straightforward analysis, whcih makes the story all the more unsettling.

Rating: ***½

Gary Fry’s website