It's been years since I've read a Dean Koontz book so I thought I would test the waters by reading one of his short stories. "Darkness Under the Sun" sheds light on childhood innocence and naivety and how it can be broken. Eleven year old Howie, a sad, laughed at, scarred little boy encounters the terrifying Mr. Blackwood on one of his afternoon adventures. Howie is at first terrified of the stranger's menacing and horrifying appearance, but soon begins to like the odd man because they seem to have much in common. Mr. Blackwood knows what it's like to be pitied and laughed at, the ugliness on the outside doesn't have to reflect what's on the inside (or so Howie thinks). Howie won't realize until it's too late just how sinister and evil this man is, but by then, what innocence he had will be long gone. A chilling tale, with a thoughtful conclusion.