Blackthorn Book Tours has a wonderful new “Quick Bite” tour. These are shorter stories than the normal novels we get to choose from. I happen to really dig short stories and novellas so I jumped at this opportunity. It’s nice to have a short story to read on a lunch break or waiting at the airport, that kind of thing. Just a little quick retreat and escape from the crazy hustle and bustle of day to day living in these modern times. Everyone is so go, go, go. So surely at only about five thousand words (around nineteen pages) anyone could fit this in for a reader’s rapid retreat.
Here is the blurb that made me request the book:
“Suicidal teenager Rich Anthony was on his way to step in front of an express train when he spots a battered acoustic guitar left outside an Oxfam shop. Intrigued, Rich postpones his plans, takes the guitar home and teaches himself to play.
What happens next changes his life.”
I’m not going to say anything else really about the actual story itself. I want you all to read it. It was fantastic!
First of all, I read this in less than twenty minutes. Such a quick read. Part of that is because the plot is constantly moving forward at an intriguing pace. Plus, this is a story that surrounds only a few characters so you aren’t trying to figure out who did what with whom and when and why, always having to jog your memory thinking to yourself ‘was that the guy that was in the story a few chapters back? What was his deal again?, making you go backwards in the story instead of forward and thereby disrupting the flow of the imagination. Not happening in this short story. The limited character structure helps with keeping their individual personalities straight and is a perfect way to continually establish a timeline, since you are only dealing with just a few people.
I actually liked this story enough I read it twice. The author uses the most wonderful descriptions with a very impactful vocabulary to create specific images in the mind of the reader. Even though it is a short story, the amount of information presented is staggering but entertaining. Everything is immaculately detailed, direct, precise and expertly constructed to beckon the reader to press on to the end and find out what happens.
The one thing I enjoyed most about this story is the idea of karma worked into the plot line. Karma is supposed to be quite fickle at times but always there somewhere. Here we have a front row seat to the unfolding of true karmic retribution and the inevitable cosmic balance of the universe. Truly a tantalizing tale. A must read for horror, suspense and thriller lovers. An absolute must have!!!
From The Author:
I grew up in a small market town in rural Herefordshire before joining the Royal Navy. After 22 years in the submarine service and having travelled extensively, I now live and write in rural Worcestershire.
I have written two novels, Fat Man Blues and Near Death, and a bunch of short stories and poems.
My stories reflect my life-long fascination with the dark underbelly of American culture; be it tales of the Wild West, the simmering menace of the Deep South, the poetry of Charles Bukowski, or Langston Hughes, the writing of Andrew Vachss and John Steinbeck, or the music of Charley Patton, Son House, Johnny Cash, or Tom Waits.
Within just a few pages the story starts to grab you. The next thing you know, you are side by side with a determined detective trying to unravel a complicated case. At first it seems as though the case will end up with so many others in the Cold Case files, but then things start to change. Interviews provide answers. And more questions. Questions produce leads. Leads form an investigation, pulling you down a path of personal, psychological and diabolical secrets, lies and atrocities that, in their ripple effect, happen to leave just the kind of clues that our detective will need to follow to solve her case.
This was an excellent novel to read. It was gripping but highly detailed and carefully woven together. This means that the reader really needs to be able to pay attention (at least for me). This would not have been a novel I could read while reading another fully engaging story. This story was so attentively entwined that every little detail counts for a full understanding of the story at its real value. If you just breeze through it, yeah, you’ll still probably enjoy it. But if you really take the time to read it you could actually almost escape into the story and characters and experience the investigation and the investigator’s life, up close and personal.
For anyone who loves crime stories, especially murder mysteries, this is right up your alley. At an average length it’s not a book that’s going to take months of time investment and with some kind of important detail of piece of information coming at you at a very constant pace, this book reads fairly quickly.
There were certainly parts that had me more enthralled than others but the whole novel was interesting and captivating. And I thought it was an excellent and refreshing take on the murder mystery plot line. So, this was definitely worth the read. I also have a feeling that if I were to read it again I would catch even more detail, experience, links, emotion and like it just that much more. It seems to me that this could very well be the kind of novel that even though you know the ending, you can still read it again and be entertained.