Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
(Scribner, 2010, 268 pages)
I like Stephen King novels but I love his short stories. His new book is a collection of four stories that were deliciously scary, I almost screamed at a couple of parts. The title for the collection is very apt, dark tales with very little light to cut through the darkness. The first story, “1922,” is a sort of a ghost story set on a farm. A farmer kills his wife to keep some land she wants to sell but of course it doesn’t work out like he thought it would. The second story, “Big Driver,” is about a woman who writes a sort of Miss Marple/Murder She Wrote type of mystery series called “Willow Grove Knitting Society.” She encounters trouble on the way back from a book signing and is thrust into a mystery that is much more violent than the ones she writes. The third (and shortest) story is “Fair Extension.” It is a surprising twist on the old tale of making a deal with the devil. The fourth story, “A Good Marriage,” is the creepiest tale and tackles what happens when a wife finds out something devastating about her husband of over 20 years. If you like a good scary story, this book gives you four that will make you sleep with the lights on.