Showing posts with label Short Stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Short Stories. Show all posts

Monday, November 27, 2017

Splinter by Michael Bussa


A pleasant hour’s reading. This is a short story…but packed with punch. In this mini psychological thriller, Adam has been wheelchair-bound for twenty-one years after a tragic incident and lives with Ada, his sister. His psychiatrist wants to help this young man who has remained troubled, seemingly traumatised by the event. Believing that finding out what actually happened will help this young man, he makes every effort to uncover the truth. But it’s not plain sailing.



Writing a short story requires technique. There isn’t much time to captivate the reader and every sentence has to count. There still has to be a start, a middle, an end, the plot has to have some meat on it, and the reader has to care about the characters. With the requirement of economy of words, they have to be carefully chosen.


Bussa has achieved all of the above in little under eight thousand words and managed even to throw in suspense. There are a couple of twists. I’ll be honest…I did actually guess them early on, but I must stress this wasn’t because they were obvious...more like an intelligent guess!

If you like short stories and psychological thrillers, you need look no further.




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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bad Spirits by DV Berkom

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

I don’t think Berkom’s books are good for me. They’re way too heart-pounding and action-packed: there’s no sitting back and relaxing while you read her books. It’s edge-of-your-seat, heart-in-your-mouth writing.


Spunky, no-nonsense, alpha-female protagonists are definitely Berkom’s speciality. And Kate Jones certainly fits the description to a T. She’s on the run from not one, but two, ruthless and unscrupulous drug barons. She’s got their money; they want her…preferably dead. Every corner she turns, hoping she’s one step further away from them and one step nearer safety, provides another nail-biting situation from which she has to extricate herself.

Captivating and attention-grabbing from the start, this short story is a mouth-watering appetiser to the following books in this thriller series, which I’ll most certainly be reading. Once I’ve caught my breath, of course.






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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Such is Life by Jeri Walker-Bickett

AMAZON UK
AMAZON US

Such is Life by Jeri Walker-Bickett


This was an unusual collection of five short stories. Unusual, I thought, because though fictional, they reflect very real situations.

I seem to find a collection of short stories invariably contains one I like the most and one which stays with me for one reason or another. The teacher story (Not Terribly Important) was my favourite (was it auto-biographical, I wonder?), and the most unsettling was the dog story (For The Love Of Dog). I almost wish I hadn’t read that one. As a hopelessly besotted animal lover, I did find it disturbing…be warned!



A creative-writing teacher is an author (when not teaching), who self-publishes a novel. But her students’ parents are unhappy with its contents. The teacher and principle clash over the issue, and the teacher finds herself with a decision to make: does she follow her heart and pursue her passion or relent to narrow-mindedness?

What do you do with a poorly trained pet dog which has been mistreated and as a consequence knows no better and behaves aggressively? His owners clash over his future: the bully of a husband is adamant the dog's life has to end…by whatever means. His wife has more heart, but fears her husband. She needs a solution quickly.

The remaining three stories feature: 
  • An encounter in a launderette between a young man and woman, neither of whom have managed to fulfil their long-held ambitions and ended on a drifting path. Her intentions to continue along that path may just inspire him to do something about his own.
  • A young mother and wife with mental problems is constantly in and out of hospital. Her problem is that she’s trapped in a revolving door of mindnumbness if she takes her pills, but without them her lucidity is crippled with pyschosis. On one particular day of torment she takes a stroll…
  • A man who works in a carnival picks up a young student. The inevitable happens. But this rolling stone doesn’t reckon on a female take-it-or-leave version of himself.
This author has compiled a set of stories which are well written, well observed, and thought-provoking. The stories don’t necessarily end as you might expect because…well, that’s life. Most enjoyable.





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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Stranded Love by Massimo Marino



No, sorry, Sig. Marino, I wasn’t very keen on this collection of five short (very, very short) stories. They were dark, violent, creepy and unsettling. They left a rather bad taste in my mouth.

The aim, I think, was to show that love isn’t always expressed conventionally; you know, with roses, champagne and diamonds. That expression can sometimes take a hideously twisted, murderous route. Psychopaths don’t usually have intentions with good outcomes.

I thought the stories just a tad too short. No sooner had they got going, they ended. They were rather bumpy…didn’t flow at all well. I found myself checking I was still in the same story and hadn't moved on to the next.

I think I need a very corny, clich├ęd chick lit now to restore my mind to its former pure and angelic state.



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