Today we have a short review of what my book tour group calls a “Quick Bite”. These are short stories that take little time to read but still fit in the horror/suspense/thriller genre. Once a month we get the option of asking for that month’s “Quick Bite” and the opportunity to review it. This month we had a very intriguing tale that is only about eight pages long.
At first, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on with our character. Our main character has no name. There is no solid description of them to form that image in the mind of the reader. You get little tidbits here and there, but nothing to form a complete image of a real person. And yet, we quickly realize that this main character is also the narrator. Written in an almost stream-of-consciousness manner, the author takes us inside the head of this character and the prison cell they are in. And then it just kind of takes off on its own.
I found the story to be quite entertaining and it had a constant grasp on me. I liked the kind of anonymity that the character has while still being someone absolutely relatable. I can typically read about a page per minute on average. I got through this eight-page story in just about five minutes.
There are so many seemingly random oddities in the dialogue but I assure you, these comments for a very clear picture when put together and put with the context. I must admit, while it takes a lot to shock me and I wasn’t really “shocked”, some of the comments and dialogue in this story caught me a little of guard. Now, for me, that just adds to the fun of the story and the whole feeling of suspense, and that need to know what happens next and where all of it is going.
This was all that is in the summary I got:
“Prison time hangs heavy. Prison life is not kind. There is a [sic] corruption in it. There is no redemption.
But everyone needs a break. Everyone needs a friend.”
But, that was enough for my interest to be genuinely piqued. And it is a unique writing style that doesn’t show up very often. That makes for a new kind of fresh type of reading experience.
My only struggle was that there were no quotation marks around the lines of dialogue. It was a little confusing to follow but not difficult and certainly not impossible. But the actual formatting of the piece which was all left justified and did not always have those few “return” lines between paragraphs to space them out coupled with the missing quotation marks for dialogue did sometimes make me stumble a little here and there through the story. Meaning that I would have to go back and re-read certain parts to make sure I was fully understanding who was saying what to whom and from where and at what time. But that is my only criticism.
I like the content of the story and the way the character was written. I think on that front, which is the most important of all, did a fantastic job. This is even a short story that I will be reading more than once. I enjoyed it that much. It gave that perfect combination of a chill crawling up your spine and a devious smile of satisfaction at the same time.
This would be a fabulous quick read for any fan of any aspect of the horror genre.
About The Author
Carly Rheilan was born in Malta and lives in the UK. She was educated at Oxford University (which she hated and left) and then at Brunel (a small-town technological university where she stayed for a Ph.D.). She is a psychiatric nurse. She has done research into criminal justice and taught in universities. She has children of her own and has also fostered children with mental health problems. She has worked many years in the NHS, in secure units and prisons.
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Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/SuspendedAnimation
This book was an interesting compilation of unsolved crimes that span over several years and include a variety of crimes. These are real cold cases that have never been solved. The purpose of this book is to give the reader all the available information and let them decide what they think happened. I would have to say though this book was very interesting and informative, it is not for those who need conclusion when reading or watching films, stuff like that. If not knowing what happened is going to bother you then you probably aren’t going to like this book.
However, if you don’t mind the absence of conclusion and you enjoy true crime then you would most likely find this book intriguing to read, just as I did.
The author has gone to great lengths to present all the facts of each case in a well-written narrative format, telling the reader a story as they learn all about the case. Just like with anything heavy with details and loads of information there are just a few small dry moments where the book gets just a tiny bit boring but they don’t last but a few paragraphs here and there.
Overall, I liked this book. It was very captivating learning about all these new cases that remain unsolved. We mostly just hear about the cases that get closed and the people that get arrested. To me, this book was a nice mix between the flow of fiction and the truth of a textbook, melded together to make for one entrancing read.
The Best New True Crime Stories:
Partners in Crime
Book 5 in series of 5
As most of my readers know, I am very interested in true crime. Human behavior and their reasons for said behavior fascinate me. So far, this book makes the third that I have read of the five currently available in this series. So far, each installment in the series has been incredibly interesting, very thought-provoking, and fairly disturbing at times.
In this particular collection, we have a vast array of types of crimes. These crimes include acts such as murder, robbery, kidnapping, sexual assault, and more. The one thing all of the dastardly deeds described in these pages is that for each crime there was a pair of perpetrators, not a single person. This focus on various atrocities committed by people that not only partner together to commit these acts but also feed off of each other and thrive on being together and involved with each other in each crime.
This book shows that some people while fairly harmless individually can become something dark and dangerous when paired with the right person. Somehow some people just have chemistry that drives them into the depths of depravity together as one solid unit. Apart from and without each, other these offenders probably wouldn't have ever ventured to hurt another. But together? Together they can combine to become a very lethal and formidable duo.
And still, some of the cases presented show us that when bad people pair up with other bad people they can behave worse than before. They can embolden each other, challenge each other, push and pull at egos and insecurities. Whatever it takes to get what they want.
I once heard something to the effect of 'when two damaged people come together no matter how much they love each other you can expect more damage'. Now, I don't know if that is truly 100% correct but the cases laid out in this collection certainly show that the people who were already on a bad path seemed to only exacerbate that by joining together with another damaged person. (I'm not talking about normal dysfunctional kind of damage. I'm talking about people who already lack moral psychology, have a skewed measurement of right and wrong, and who have already forgone the basics of humanity.)
While perpetrating their violations upon innocent victims each of these pairs were willing participants with no regard for anyone or anything, nor did they have any real concern about any consequences that may arise from their criminality. They become very wrapped up in each other and almost seem to live through their crimes in a fantasy world where nothing bad can happen to them and there will be the fairytale ending where they live happily together forever and ever. But the reality is very different.
I found this book to be just as interesting as the other two that I have read. I like that each case is written by a different author. This gives the reader a variety of writing styles to keep the information stimulating and appealing. This is also a valuable way of letting the stories be told in different voices. Each person, especially authors and true storytellers, tells their account of the events in their own way. Some people are more fact-based. Others are more descriptive with vivid imagery created for the reader. Some are a combination of storyteller types. But we all have our own voice.
Furthermore, the cases are from all over the world at different times in the past. It's not just current crimes or crimes committed in just one region. Again, this is a technique that is beneficial to the reader as it exposes them to events they may not have otherwise known about or even thought to research. There were several cases in this edition of this series that piqued my interest and I made notes to try to find even more information in addition to the large number of facts already presented to me.
For the true-crime buffs, this is one you will definitely want to read. It's not filled with horror and gore, although yes there are many appalling tragic events detailed. But it truly is more of a written documentary of people who, when they paired up, were nothing but bad news, detailing their crimes and histories, both personal histories and each couple's histories leading up to their crimes. I hope this series continues to grow. I'm very anxious to see what special subset of criminals Szereto chooses to educate us about next.
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