- Alternate Character Interpretation:
- Complete Monster: Robert "Bob" Anderson from A Good Marriage seems like a loving husband and father, but is actually a vicious Serial Killer named "Beadie" who has been killing for decades. Having planned a school shooting in his youth with a friend, Bob satisfied his urges by raping and killing women he deemed "snoots" after torturing them, often by biting them before killing them. In one instance, a victim's young son Robert stumbled upon Bob killing his mother, making him a victim as well. Despite Bob's lies that the boy didn't suffer, his wife Darcie later learns the boy was horribly tortured and mutilated before being killed. When Darcie discovers Bob's secret life, she realizes he won't stop killing and that every act of kindness or love he ever showed her was simply camouflage for the evil within.
- Crosses the Line Twice: Depending on who's reading it, "Fair Extension" is either this or just not funny at all.
- Fridge Horror: It is mentioned that Tess attended the book club meeting when the Real Life author Janet Evanovich was unable to show. It is implied that Janet would have gone through the same ordeal as Tess, if not murdered outright, had she not cancelled.
- Jerkass Woobie:
- Wilfred, depending on your view by the end of "1922", especially after he goes through the full extent of Pyrrhic Villainy.
- Also Tom Goodhugh. While he started as a bit of a prick, it's hard to not feel sorry not only for him, but his entire family.
- Moral Event Horizon: Wilfred murdering his wife and talking his son into helping him
- Arguably, Dave Streeter crosses this in his deal with Elvid to utterly ruin his neighbor's life in exchange for making his own prosperous.
- Nightmare Fuel - "1922" is this for its entire duration, but special attention is given to the rat that tears off one of Wilfred's cow's teats and Arlette's corpse, both in the well and when she seems to come back to him, guided by the rats.
- "A Good Marriage" starts with Bob's wife discovering his horrific collection of depraved pornography, and it only gets worse from there.
- Some consider "Fair Extension" the most disturbing story in the collection, and one can see why. A man's family is led to utter ruin by an envious colleague who makes a Deal with the Devil, which leads to some pretty twisted things. His wife dies tragically, one of his children loses her teeth to a gum disease as well as losing her husband and unborn child, another gifted with intelligence suffers a heart attack that leaves him brain-damaged to the point of needing constant care, and the third forsakes going to college and ends up murdering his girlfriend after getting involved in a failing business. It probably doesn't help that, unlike Wilfred of "1922" and Bob of "Good Marriage", Streeter is a Karma Houdini.
- The Woobie:
- Tess. Later becomes a Iron Woobie.
- Henry just wanted to stay on the farm and be with Shannon.
- Darcy after discovering her husband's other "hobby".
YMMV / Full Dark, No Stars