David Morrell,
(Subterranean Press, 2004)

NightScape is a collection of short fiction (five short stories, two novellas and a script) written by David Morrell. The works are dark and, at times, disturbing. Obsession, madness, grief, loss and love intertwine to form the horrors within the pages. The monsters that you will find here, where there are monsters, are often human. The only exception is the script for the TV series Monsters.

The introduction to the collection is a revealing glimpse into the fears, obsessions and passions that drive a person. Read it for it is also part of the pattern that ties the stories together.

It is the interweaving emotions that lend colour to the tapestries and height to the falls. A couple of times the descent into madness is shown from within and it seems reasonable until the end. The tragic "Nothing Will Hurt You" is one of these.

The line between obsession and love can be a subtle one, and the questions are there in "Resurrection" once you step outside of the main characters' points of view. Some of the characters verge on the archetypical: there is the devoted father, the loyal follower, the eccentric professor and an insane killer or two. There are others as well. Most of the time they try to do their best -- they are people you could meet anywhere or hear about in the news. It is the choices they make and where those choices take them that drive the plot.

David Morrell has shaped a dark mirror in NightScape. Some of the mirrors are darker than others, some are subtle affairs and some of the edges build on each other from one work to the next. Take the time to let the different parts resonate from piece to piece, the results are worth the effort.

- Rambles
written by Paul de Bruijn
published 29 January 2005

Buy it from Amazon.com.