Things You Need (Clifton Heights Book 4) by Kevin Lucia
“Kevin Lucia is this generation's answer to Charles L. Grant.” – Brian Keene
The things we want are so very rarely the things we need.
Clifton Heights, a modest Adirondack town, offers many unique attractions. Arcane Delights sells both paperbacks and hard-to-find limited editions. The Skylark Diner serves the best home-cooked meals around, with friendly service and a smile. Every August, Mr. Jingo’s County Fair visits, to the delight of children and adults. In essence, Clifton Heights is the quintessential small American town. Everyone knows everyone else, and everyone is treated like family. It is quiet, simple, and peaceful.
But shadows linger here. Flitting in dark corners, from the corner of the eye. If you walk down Main Street after dark, the slight scrape of shoes on asphalt whispers you're not alone, but when you look over your shoulder, no one is there. The moon shines high and bright in the night sky, but instead of throwing light, it only seems to make the shadows lengthen.
Children disappear. Teens run away. Hunters get lost in the woods with frightening regularity. Husbands go mad, and wives vanish in the dead of night. And still, when the sun rises in the morning, you are greeted by townspeople with warm waves and friendly smiles, and the shivers pass as everything seems fresh and new...
Until night falls once more.
Handy's Pawn and Thrift sits several blocks down from Arcane Delights. Like any thrift store, its wares range from the mundane to the bizarre. By daylight, it seems just another slice of small town Americana. But in its window hangs a sign which reads: We Have Things You Need. And when a lonely traveling salesman comes looking for something he desperately wants, after normal visiting hours, after night has fallen, he will face a harsh truth among the shelves of Handy’s Pawn and Thrift: the things we want are rarely the things we need.
Proudly represented by Crystal Lake Publishing—Tales from the Darkest Depths.
Interview with the author:
Why should people try your work?
As a reader, I've always been a fan of character-driven, more atmospheric horror, so naturally that's the kind of horror I try to write. I'm heavily influenced by the work Charles L. Grant, T. M. Wright, Stephen King, Norman Prentiss, Mary Sangiovanni and Ronald Malfi - writers who all create compelling characters with emotional depth, and that's what I aspire to in my own work. I want to grapple with some of life's toughest questions through fiction, but still create something that's entertaining, while also meaningful.
Do you have any other books featuring these characters?
My work takes place in the same small fictional Adirondack town, Clifton Heights, so there are lots of crossover characters and Easter eggs, name references, etc. This book, however, is very much a standalone work, with the exception of minor references to series characters like Sheriff Chris Baker, Father Ward, author Gavin Patchett (Things Slip Through, Devourer of Souls, Through A Mirror, Darkly) and bookstore owner Kevin Ellison (Through A Mirror, Darkly). The mysterious shopkeeper and his shop, Handy's Pawn and Thrift, is mentioned throughout the series.
In which order should folks read these Clifton Heights books?
Really, the only order which might appear chronological is that Devourer of Souls is best read following Things Slip Through, and A Night at Old Webb is best read following Through a Mirror, Darkly. Other than that, there's no need to read them in order, and Things You Need, while fitting into the universe nicely, stands alone from all previous works before it.