cover image Black Is the Night: Stories Inspired by Cornell Woolrich

Black Is the Night: Stories Inspired by Cornell Woolrich

Edited by Maxim Jakubowski. Titan, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-789099-99-7

The 30 stories in this superior anthology from Jakubowski (Invisible Blood) capture the feel of Woolrich’s iconic noir fiction. In a brief introduction, “Why Cornell Woolrich Matters,” Neil Gaiman aptly observes: “The world Cornell Woolrich painted for us with his words is a world in which we will always be disappointed... in which our hopes and our dreams burn brightly, but in their burning they only make the shadows darker.” Highlights include James Grady’s “Eyes Without a Face,” in which a man spies on an attractive female neighbor via a hacked security feed while also watching Hitchcock’s Rear Window, which was based on a Woolrich story. That classic tale also inspired another standout, Kim Newman’s “Black Window,” about a man’s frantic attempts to get the police to believe he witnessed a matricide. Charles Ardai, the founder of Hard Case Crime, distinguishes himself with “Sleep! Sleep! Beauty Bright,” about a man’s search for the person who put his wife into a coma. The variations on Woolrich’s themes, even when set in the present day, resonate. This is a welcome companion to In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper, edited by Lawrence Block. (Oct.)