Crack open the book Night Music by John Connolly in the cold month of January and be woven into the creepy and chilling tales of the unknown and, more often than not, the horrific. His second collection of short stories, which includes two novelettes, will leave even the most devoted of horror readers with a chill in their bones that not even the warmest of fireplaces can cure.

“And from somewhere both nearby yet immeasurably far away, I swear I heard laughter, but it was the laughter of the damned.”

The novelette “The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository” is an enjoyable story to start out the collection and will entice every reader to imagine themselves owning such a library as this. The main character Mr. Berger while starting out seemingly dull reveals him to be a devoted bookworm and finds an infatuation with characters come to life such as Anna Karenina. Disappointingly enough, the similar tale following much later in the collection entitled, “Holmes on the Range,” was not as interesting unless you are a devoted Sherlock Holmes reader. The rest of us probably just won’t get it. However, other short stories such as “The Hollow King” and “The Fractured Atlas” will haunt you long after the story ended. The vivid settings and the cold reality of these worlds jumped out of the page. “The Fractured Atlas” seemed to be the counterpart to “The Caxton Private Lending Library” and revealed what a love of the printed word can due to ruin a man as opposed to sending him off into a bookworm fantasy.

If you find yourself wanting something to disturb and haunt you as the grim month of January begins, you will want to reach for the Night Music by John Connolly. Not all of the stories were disturbing but those that were made this collection worth reading.