A Stephen King story and novella collection (that comes on the heels of another collection not that long before) from 2006. In the intro he says he “doesn’t write that many short stories anymore” which is funny because he’s published like 10 short fiction collections at about 500 pages each or longer. But regardless. This collection has a few longer novella length books like “The Gingerbread Girl” where a woman takes to an almost obsessive running habit as her marriage collapses in the wake of the death of their son. She’s targeted by a local murderer who tracks her via her regular routine. It’s a good and solid chase story.
Another long story involves a man who is targeted for revenge in a neighborhood rivalry turned deadly.
One of the most surprising parts of the this collection is that it involves a number of previously uncollected fiction. Namely, “The Cat from Hell” which I didn’t expect, about a cat, well, from hell who has otherwordly powers and is the target of a hit man hired by an old man who’s watched those around him terrorized. The plot is familiar and it should be because it’s one of the three anthologized stories from the bad movie from 1990 Tales from the Darkside, in which William Hickey plays the old man and David Johansen plays the hit man. It’s probably not revisiting.
Over all, the collection is strong. It plays up what I feel is Stephen King’s recent (and especially in the 2000s) penchant for a foray into more realistic looks into suspense, thriller, and even supernatural themes and plots.