Samuel Johnson is not in a happy place. He is dating the wrong girl, demons are occupying his spare room, and the town in which he lives appears to be cursed.
But there is some good news on the horizon. After years of neglect, the grand old building that once housed Wreckit & Sons is about to reopen as the greatest toyshop that Biddlecombe has ever seen, and Samuel and his faithful dachshund Boswell are to be guests of honour at the big event. A splendid time will be had by all, as long as they can ignore the sinister statue that keeps moving around the town, the Shadows that are slowly blocking out the stars, the murderous Christmas elves, and the fact that somewhere in Biddlecombe a rotten black heart is beating a rhythm of revenge.
A trap has been set. The Earth is doomed. The last hope for humanity lies with one young boy and the girl who's secretly in love with him. Oh, and a dog, two demons, four dwarfs and a very polite monster.
John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. John Connolly's debut - EVERY DEAD THING - introduced the character of Private Investigator Charlie Parker, and swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers. All his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the winner of the 2016 CWA Short Story Dagger for On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes Vol 2. In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award and the first Irish writer to win an Edgar award. BOOKS TO DIE FOR, which he edited with Declan Burke, was the winner of the 2013 Anthony, Agatha and Macavity awards for Best Non-Fiction work.