Acclaimed author David Morrell (First Blood, Creepers) is praised for his riveting short fiction as much as he is for his best-selling thrillers. His stories appeared in many Year’s Best anthologies and received prestigious awards. In his second collection, Morrell leads you through an adrenaline-charged NightScape of serial killers, third world revolutionaries, a policeman stalking a murderous cult, a son obsessed by his cryogenically frozen father, a psychology professor forced to suffer intense confinement, and a doctor combating an epidemic that he fears will destroy the world. Complete with autobiographical introductions in which Morrell links the stories to painful incidents in his life, NightScape includes a mini-novel, “Rio Grande Gothic,” set in Morrell’s home of picturesque Santa Fe, New Mexico, where mysterious shoes appear day-after-day in the middle of a road. Soon it becomes shockingly evident that the shoes are the aftermath of ritual murders.
Morrell received the 2009 ThrillerMaster Award from the International Thriller Writers organization.
“Morrell, an absolute master of the thriller, plays by his own rules and leaves you dazzled.”
—Dean Koontz, New York Times bestselling author of Odd Thomas.
“David Morrell is, to me, the finest thriller writer living today, bar none.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Jefferson Key
Best known as the author of numerous thrillers, Morrell (The Protector) also has a reputation for crafting sophisticated short horror and science fiction. This solid collection presents a sampling of his work in both genres. The two standouts are "If I Should Die Before I Wake," a harrowing account of a smalltown doctor facing the influenza epidemic of 1918, and "Rio Grande Gothic," a novella about a Santa Fe police officer, Romero, who becomes obsessed with the shoes someone is repeatedly leaving on the highway. His fellow officers consider him eccentric until one pair turns up with feet still in them. Morrell, a former English professor, loves literary references, as shown by Romero's surviving because he reads D.H. Lawrence. Also strong are "Remains to Be Seen," in which the loyalty of a South American military officer knows no bounds, and "Nothing Will Hurt You," in which the father of a girl murdered by a serial killer becomes obsessed with bringing the monster to justice. Morrell's stories tend to combine clean, understated prose and a relatively low-key story line with a shocking surprise at the end. Of particular interest are the general introduction and introductory notes to each story, in which the author ties his fiction to sometimes painful events in his own life.