This Wordsworth Edition includes an exclusive Introduction by David Stuart Davies.
'Have you ever heard of the fascination of terror?'
This is a unique collection of strange stories from the cunning pen of Wilkie Collins, author of The Woman in White and The Moonstone. The star attraction is the novella The Haunted Hotel, a clever combination of detective and ghost story set in Venice, a city of grim waterways, dark shadows and death. The action takes place in an ancient palazzo coverted into a modern hotel that houses a grisly secret. The supernatural horror, relentless pace, tight narrative, and a doomed countess characterise and distinguish this powerful tale.
The other stories present equally disturbing scenarios, which include ghosts, corpses that move, family curses and perhaps the most unusual of all, the Devil's spectacles, which bring a clarity of vision that can lead to madness.
Collins is one of the great storytellers. He excels in presenting narratives that both disturb and engross the reader, as this fine collection demonstrates.