Chizmar's fifth Shivers compilation, the best to date, features 24 stories and poems notable for their thematic breadth. In Steve Vernon's lyrical "The Forever Long Snake of Olan Walker," a superbly creepy period gothic, an imprisoned conjure man gets his nasty revenge against an Alabama chain-gang work farm boss. Dark suspense offerings range from Sarah Langan's gritty and gruesome "The Burn Victim" to Scott Nicholson's wryly macabre "Good Fences." Other standouts include a fractured fairy tale from Al Sarrantonio ("The Cookie Man"), a dark riff on Dickens from Chet Williamson ("Marley's Cat") and a disturbing look into a murderously unhinged mind by Stewart O'Nan ("Summer of '77"). The variety of the contents ensures that there is something for every horror lover, and for the most part these tales deliver the shivers they promise. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.