Really Scary! Make sure that the windows are closed or the lights are on or whatever else makes you feel safer. This book is a drop into a very dark wonderland. Single-author short story collections can be tedious reading but John Connolly manages to hold your attention with some elegant writing through most of his 18 stories. Not all the stories impressed. The very first story: 'The Cancer Cowboy...' had drops of good writing but it was too long, too tedious and too Stephen King-like. 'The Inn at Shillingford' was an attempt at black humour. 'Miss Froom, Vampire' however was black humour at its best. There were similar themes and horror devices in a few of the stories but the author moulds them around successfully. Well, just about. Although I enjoyed 'Mr Pettinger's Daemon' (Makes me want to dig to the bottom of my neighbourhood Mosque'), I felt that there were two powerful stories that were both too overwhelming to be merged into one as they were.The cannaballism theme was powerful enough to merit a story on its own. Most of the stories were genuinely chilling. I found 'The Underbury Witches' and 'The Shifting of the Sands' particularly scary. Having said that 'The New Daughter' and 'The Erkling' would make most prospective country home buyers have second thoughts. As for the Novella, there were a few inconsistances with the main character and some minor parts of the plot did not add up. Overall however, the story was good and did scare. Anything with chidren for some reason just seems to scare easier.