I was quite familiar with award-winning author John Connolly’s Charlie Parker thriller series so I’m not sure why I was surprised that he ventured into the realm of the supernatural with his Night Music Nocturnes anthologies. My first clue that I was missing something probably should have been that he had previously won the Bram Stoker award. Doh. When I read the publisher’s description for Night Music Nocturnes, Volume 2, I thought it might just be perfect for some scary Halloween reading. And since it’s comprised of short stories and a couple of novellas, I could read it at a wussy rate instead of a deep dive that would have me checking for the dreaded closet monsters again. If you’re looking for some quick eerie reads with an award-winning lengthy novella or two thrown in, then this probably should be on your TBR pile.
Below is a list of the stories included in Night Music Nocturnes, Volume 2, with hints about some of them just to give you an idea of what you can expect. Most of these stories are published in this book for the first time. If it goes bump in the night, John Connolly has included it – after he lures us into a false sense of well-being…damn, that’s sneaky.
The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository (award-winning novella): As a long-time bibliophile, this one was probably my favorite. After trying to save a woman from committing suicide by throwing herself in front of a train, a secret library lures Mr. Berger in – a library where book characters from the world’s greatest literary works reside.
The Blood of the Lamb: Parents of a child who has experienced unusual religious phenomenon are awaiting priests who are coming to examine their claims on the Catholic Church’s behalf. Could this child be blessed or is she cursed?
A Dream of Winter: A boy attending school beside a cemetery is haunted by the specter of a man who stands looking at his classroom…doesn’t anyone else see this man?
The Lamia: A woman keeps seeing the man she most despises – a man who sexually assaulted her but got off scot-free. It feels like she might go mad if it doesn’t stop. Then she receives an invitation from someone who says they can help…
The Hollow King: A kingdom is surrounded by invaders who have destroyed everything they’ve touched. What nightmarish bargain will the king make to save his kingdom?
The Children of Dr. Lyall: Young Felder and his pint-sized London gang specialized in finding “treasure” among the rubble left by German bombers, but it was a risky way to survive. And then one day, he learns about the widow Lyall’s house. He doesn’t normally burgle occupied houses but this one is too tempting to resist…
The Fractured Atlas – Five Fragments: This is the second novella in this book and the last one I’m going to tell you anything about – you gotta have some surprises, after all. It features Wanderer in Unknown Realms, which was previously published as an e-book and has now become Part IV of a five-part novella. Both of the novellas in this anthology could be short stand-alone novels, which to me feels like a huge bonus.
On the Automization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier
Holmes on the Range: A Tale of The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository: Just a comment – I love that this book is “book ended” by content that takes place in the same world. It’s a great way to tie everything together for the reader.
I was lured into this book by the first novella – how could a bookaholic resist such a story? John Connolly reveals the depth and breadth of his considerable imagination in these stories. Once you’ve read them, you’ll understand why it took 10 years for Volume 2 of Night Music Nocturnes to be published. These will make for some chilling yet fun Halloween reading. Some scared me far worse than others but all are supernatural and most have that ick factor horror fans devour. Enjoy but, if you’re a wuss like me, read these in the daytime.
Can’t wait to read it?
Night Music Nocturnes, Volume 2, was published on October 6, 2015 in the U.S. and on October 15, 2015 in the UK, so it’s available from your favorite online bookseller below. Please note: The UK hard-copy edition is a hardcover while the US hard-copy edition is a trade paperback. If you get it as an e-book, you’ll have it downloaded immediately to get your Halloween reading on!
I’d love to get your comments on Night Music Nocturnes, Volume 2, John Connolly and/or his other work, and/or this review.