Edogawa Rampo has been called the Edgar Allan Poe of Japan, and with good reason. Each of the nine stories in this collection offers the reader a unique level of creepy discomfort with endings that still manage to surprise. “The Caterpillar” tells of a bitter wife trapped caring for her husband, a war veteran and quadruple amputee, while “The Human Chair” features a young author who is increasingly disturbed while reading the manuscript sent to her by a fan.
The book closes with “The Traveler with the Pasted Rag Picture,” a story of love so obsessive it transcends time—and fabric. Edogawa is a master at capturing a reader’s attention through brisk pacing and eerie details, and you know you’ve stumbled upon quality writing when you find yourself subconsciously tucking your feet up off the floor to avoid the something that may be lurking beneath. Readers who grew up devouring Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark will find Edogawa’s work to be a macabre graduation into the adult horror genre.