The action is peppered with nice moments of humour too.
Sunday, 27 November 2011
The action is peppered with nice moments of humour too.
Saturday, 26 November 2011
With one party accusing the other of manipulating results tensions spill out into the streets and war looks likely. Will diplomacy prevail?
Friday, 25 November 2011
Ed Lynskey’s latest slice of noir evokes memories of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer and feels like it should be set in the days of Al Capone and Elliot Ness. Infused with melodious jazz tones it transports the reader into a smoky world populated by shady characters but don’t be fooled, this is a modern-day tale.
Zane refuses to use a mobile (cell) phone but he does make the occasional foray into the world of emails and internet although his penchant for poetry makes him an unlikely Reaper.
Lynskey’s prose almost takes the violence out of this tale but there are murders aplenty as Zane frequently looks back on a life spent rubbing out those who have crossed his conniving paymaster.
Surprisingly the story comes across as rather poignant, the main character is very engaging and the explosive finale provides a final round knockout.
Ric’s Rating: 80%
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
This short story is similar to Victoria Watson’s previous tale Keeping Quiet but where that was an elderly lady looking back this is a much younger woman contemplating her past.
As events gradually unfold and we learn the building’s purpose various typical teenage events are remembered, like misguided sexual adventures, but when the final tragedy is revealed it puts all these things into perspective.
Emotional and thought provoking, this is another fine example of the power of the increasingly popular short story format which has seen a dramatic re-birth since the rise of the e-reader.
Ric’s Rating: 68%
Monday, 21 November 2011
The stories vary in length and content but all feature the basic premise of the dead returning to life with the inevitable catastrophic results.
Stand outs include:
Jennifer by Iain McKinnon in which the hero of the piece may not be what he seems.
Apocalypse Noo by Vallon Jackson which takes us on a scenic trip to Loch Tay in Scotland where the locals are anything but friendly. Vallon Jackson is a pseudonym for Matt Hilton, author of the Joe Hunter thriller series.
Thanksgiving Feast by A.M Boyle which is a surreal tale of an old turkey farmer and a special knife.
Seahouses Slaughterhouse by Rod Glenn which sees the return of Han Whitman, the brilliant anti-hero from Rod’s Sinema novels, see reviews elsewhere here.
My recommendation for tackling this book would be to dip in and out of it reading just one or two stories per sitting. Reading it like a novel can ruin the effect as some of the tales tend to merge.
Check elsewhere here for info. on a recent multi-author Holiday Of The Dead event in Glasgow which I attended.
Ric’s Rating: 72%
Sunday, 20 November 2011
Saturday, 19 November 2011
Unbeknown to them their Mother has lost the house and they turn up all guns blazing during the new owner’s housewarming party.
So begins the best home invasion film since Panic Room. Rebecca DeMornay (The Hand That Rocks The Cradle) puts in a scintillating performance as the feared Matriarch who goes about the business of violence and intimidation using an outwardly friendly manner which makes her all the more unnerving.
Another plus is the gradual revealing of secrets between the party-going friends. This creates great tension between them while they also attempt to survive the increasingly violent incident they are caught up in.
Saw II, III & IV director Darren Lynn Bousman has delivered a nail biting thriller that surprisingly flew pretty much under the radar.
Monday, 14 November 2011
In this society the currency is time with everyone having to bargain their days, minutes and hours on everything from phone calls to food. Timberlake’s character suddenly finds himself in possession of an abundance of time and sets about investigating the people who ration it.
This promised much but delivered little. When we reach the fourth or fifth time JT manages to save himself with seconds to spare it all becomes a bit boring. Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later) does finally manage to play a menacing character after his previous failed attempts in films like Red Eye and The Dark Knight but that isn’t enough to recommend this one.
Ric’s Rating: 47%
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Jimmy Hawthorn appears to be a regular teenager with regular teenage problems and just as things are looking up for him he begins to wonder if acting out his kidnap and bondage fantasy was such a good idea after all.
All of the main characters in this book are teenagers making me wonder if they are the intended audience. If so it’s very risky as there are some graphic scenes of rape, torture and bondage.
That being said the author has managed to include these in a tale woven around a fascinatingly complex main character. Jimmy’s best friend is his brother Alan, the pair have a great relationship and Alan is happy when Jimmy finds a girlfriend. Unfortunately Alan has no idea that Jimmy already has two girls locked up in an abandoned underground shelter.
This can be compared to the recently reviewed film The Woman, but where that was awful due to the lack of a compelling story, this excels in that department. It’s a captivating journey through the mind of a young man who crosses the line and brings his darkest fantasies to life, with terrible consequences for all involved.
Ric’s Rating: 80%
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Gradually she learns the tarot and becomes Jacqueline Stargazer, a sought after party guest, but when psychic night bookings begin she delivers some advice that has tragic consequences.
This is really all about how someone’s life can change after losing their job and its thought provoking stuff that remains entertaining throughout.
These Trestle Press short stories make ideal lunch break reading, it’s nice to be able to complete a tale in a short period of time and anyone lacking the discipline or attention span required for novels should give them a try.
Ric’s Rating: 67%
Meanwhile a pair of gormless burglars pick the wrong house to rob.
This is the longest of the short story series so far and it pays off bigtime. Darren Sant has introduced a fine blend of characters, many of which I suspect we haven’t heard the last of.
Each story leaves me hungry for more and I can’t wait to visit the Longcroft estate again.
Interestingly the author has invited submissions for the fourth instalment. Head over to http://www.santsrants.blogspot.com/ for more information.
Ric’s Rating: 74%
Friday, 4 November 2011
Thursday, 3 November 2011
From her childhood before the war to her current predicament she takes us on a melancholy journey. A domineering Mother put paid to most fun in her childhood and even as an adult she bows to her Mother’s will, although things begin to change when her own daughter arrives.
The short story format (currently championed on ebook by Trestle Press) is perfect for this sad tale. It contains everything required to paint a full picture of a life filled with regret.
Powerful and affecting, this is a perfect introduction to short stories for anyone hesitant to try.
Ric’s Rating: 78%
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Each author read from their contribution to the collection. It was a heady mix of destruction and carnage and as you might expect there were quite a few twists. Lets just say that the zombies aren't always the most dangerous characters in these tales.
After the event all authors spent time signing books and chatting to fans.
Heres me with Rod Glenn, author of the fantastic Sinema books (see reviews elsewhere here).
Matt Hilton, author of the cool Joe Hunter thriller series (you'll find a review of the very first one elsewhere here) also took time out for a chat. Matt goes by the pen name of Vallon Jackson in this book.
It was my very first book event and I'm sure it won't be the last. Check back soon for a full review of Holiday Of The Dead.