A well-written short story is, in my opinion, one of the most satisfying reasons to read fiction. When done right, it can follow you for months, even years, always at the back of your mind, surfacing with just the mention of a word or a change in the light. And when you get a whole collection of terrific stories, while, it’s kind of like Christmas and birthday all rolled into one. David Ryan’s debut collection is just such a treat. Animals in Motion includes a number of dark, menacing tales that remind me a bit of Jim Thompson, a bit of William Gay, and maybe a hint of Nick Cave for good measure. The collection includes the story “At Night,” originally featured in Boston Noir 2, as well as the acclaimed stories “Roswell,” “Woman Descending,” and “Mouth.” But hey, don’t take my word for it. Animals in Motion received rave reviews from Tom Perrotta, Amy Hempel, Joe Meno, Frederick Barthelme, and Owen King, just to name a few.