cover image A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark Matter

A Special Place: The Heart of a Dark Matter

Peter Straub, Pegasus (Norton, dist.), $12.95 paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-60598-102-4

Creepy to the core, this novella shines a terrible light on the backstory of Straub's acclaimed A Dark Matter (2010). Young Keith Hayward idolizes his charming, charismatic Uncle Till. When Keith's mother asks Till to talk to Keith after the boy is found dismembering a dead cat, Till recognizes a kindred spirit and begins to instruct Keith on smart, secret ways to pursue his evil endeavors. As the years pass, Keith grows older and bolder in his sadistic pleasures, and when Till comes back into town, Keith finds the perfect way to impress him. Vivid but never overly graphic or grotesque, Straub's words paint horrific pictures of two depraved men. The violence is minimal, but understood in the most subtle of ways. This beautifully horrifying, delightfully disturbing tale of a family tree of evil will stay with the reader long after the last page is done. (July)