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by John Connolly
Atria Books, March 2005
416 pages
ISBN: 0743270193

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

John Connolly is the best-selling author of several thrillers featuring private investigator Charlie Parker, and most recently the scary supernatural standalone thriller titled BAD MEN. NOCTURNES is his first collection of short stories and novellas, most of them appearing in print for the first time. It is a real treat for Connolly fans.

Among some of the short stories inside this anthology there is The Erlking, a scarier take on children's bedtime stories; Nocturne, a haunting story involving a murdered family and a piano; and The Furnace Room, a story of revenge and ultimate retribution.

Depending on how seriously you take each story some of them may chill your spine with tales of ancient evils, ghosts, demons, and everything in between the supernatural world. The main problem is that most of these stories do not translate well in the written form.

They are meant to be performed and most of them had appeared previously on BBC radio making them good and scary campfire stories. Reading them for one's entertainment does not provide the same impact as listening to the stories. Most of them follow the same pattern where something terrible has happened, or is about to happen, and by then all hope is forever lost (such as The New Daughter).

The saleability of this book is mainly towards fans of John Connolly who are already familiar with his type of work. Fans will not be disappointed, as there is a new and disturbing Charlie Parker novella provided in this book called The Reflecting Eye. It provides nothing else new. Connolly has a better grasp in writing novels than he does with short stories (unless they are read aloud). Try it at you own risk.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, August 2005

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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