A collection of unsettling short stories.
The mark of good ghost stories, I’ve always thought, isn’t whether they can make you uneasy when you read or listen to them on a dark winter’s night – it’s what they can do to your psyche on a sunny day. And on that basis, this short collection, with new stories from Sarah Pinborough, James Moran, Kevin McNally and many others comes up trumps.
With a couple of notable exceptions, these are set in the present with some proving that modern technology can creep you out very successfully: Twitter, mobile phones, DVDs, Facebook and Grindr are all put to good use. The two historical tales similarly use their settings effectively.
There are some good old-fashioned jumps here too: stories about a disappearing school friend, a staircase which is getting shorter, an amputated limb, or a premature death could be told against any background.
Proceeds from the collection are going to cancer charities, who should do well from this neatly compiled anthology.
Verdict: Prepare to creep yourself out – and maybe tonight it’ll be you who dreams of an ever-diminishing staircase! 8/10