August 1, 2016 (Starred Review)

“Chizmar may not be a name readers know, but they certainly know the names of those he has published in his 27-year career running the award-winning Cemetery Dance Publications: Stephen King, Justin Cronin, Joe R. Lansdale, and Gillian Flynn, to name only a few. This huge collection of 35 tales offers a wide range of genres, from crime to dark fantasy to horror. Some previously published pieces are included as-is, while others have been reworked, and still others were never available before. All are subtly terrifying tales of normal lives that are completely upended by circumstances beyond anyone’s control. Chizmar’s stories are united by the feelings they produce—dread, anxiety, and suspense—but more remarkable is how they are presented with an underlying poignancy. For example, the title novella finds the protagonist waking up to police surrounding his neighbor and best friend’s home because that man is a serial killer. How does one process that? It’s well past time to let the man behind so many other great stories have a chance to wow readers with his own chilling words. This is a must-read for fans of intense tales where psychological suspense and horror overlap, as with the novels of Peter Straub, Scott Smith, or Adam Nevill.”

— Becky Spratford

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