I love pulp art. You know, like the covers of Amazing Stories or so many wonderful detective series. The age of the pulp magazine - especially the spec fic ones - was a trove for me to discover (an occasional but loved treat when I find piles of them at a used bookstore), and it makes me incredibly happy that there are still outlets out there for short fiction (and speculative short fiction in particular).
I bring this up because the sixth short story in Night Shadows involves a cover artist, his model, and a very disturbing muse. Steve Berman's "Capturing Jove Lunge" drips with the sense of the period. The language, the big stocky lunk of a guy who would be better suited to breaking fingers (or skulls) and the mission to recover a young woman who may (or may not) have been kidnapped by an eccentric in a rambling old estate - it's all just so evocative. There's a sense of the crime story to it, a bit of detective work, a femme who might have been fatale if the protagonist of the tale was the sort to appreciate womanly curves. Gus (the aforementioned cracker of skulls) is a little out of his usual range. The owner of the building wants to paint him for a cover of one of the pulp stories. Gus as model is the cover, but the mission is one of recovery - regardless of whether the woman in question wants to come home.
Again, I don't want to ruin any of these wonderful stories. Berman's slow build to the payoff is creepy and atmospheric: completed with a disturbing butler, the eccentric cover artist, and a young fellow whose innocence and youth are both on the borderline. To say that I didn't see the specific end of this tale coming would be putting it mildly, and the last few lines are sure to chill.