The Spider by Amy Cross is a story about a crotchety old man named Edward Moss, recently widowed, slowly going insane over a spider which appears to be immortal. I admit, under the circumstances presented by the author, I had my suspicions about the spider's origins...kept me hooked, despite the many slow moments with the old man's thought-monologues. The horror story he is reading is also an excellent touch. While this story doesn't meet the expectations I have for the author, based on her previous work, the unexpected ending made this novella worth reading.
I've often become a fan of an author only to lose interest due to a change in genre, writing style or both. The first time this happened, it was Stephen King. Loved everything he wrote in the 1980s and some of the 90s, but, one day, during a stopover at an airport, I read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and I realized King no longer frightened me. The author who instilled my love of horror had become another relic from my younger years.
Anyone who has followed King's career knows his writing has expanded in every direction of horror, many sub-genres...settings spanning modern Maine to kingdoms in other worlds...monsters in various forms...every story had its own unique flavor. Some say he sold out...but, maybe, in this new age of online warfare, hashtag protests and Tide-pod eaters, even an author like King can't compete with the horror of real life.