This is a collection of short stories from this author. I chose this book to review from the options that the good people of Black Tide Book Tours offered. I’m glad I picked this one. First of all, as most of my readers are aware, I really enjoy short story collections. Sometimes it feels like more bang for your buck when you get multiple stories in one book. I used the same system to rate this collection as I have in the past. I score each story individually on a scale from 1-5 and then I take the average of all the scores to come up with the rating for the whole book. With all that said, let’s get into it.
This book had a total of nine stories. I will list the individual scores in the latter part of this review. Overall, I enjoyed this collection very much. Every story got a 4 or 5 out of 5 on my rating scale except for the last story. Now, I am not going to go into detail about the content of this book only because they are short stories and to give that kind of detail would be almost like retelling the tales, which I don’t want to do. I would rather leave them for you to actually read. Instead, what I will do is go through the titles and give a few comments on my thoughts on each tale. Before I do that I must say, I really like this author. He has a very Twilight Zone-esque style of writing. Generally speaking, the stories also have a slow, solid build-up of suspense. And for me, they were mostly the kind of stories that commanded my attention because of the suspense. These were not stories that were easy to just put down in the middle of the tale. They grabbed my attention enough that I read each story all the way through before stopping as regular life inevitably gets in the way of my reading all the time.
Okay, here we go:
Living Water 5/5
I thought this was an excellent story. This was the one that struck me the most similar to The Twilight Zone. It had a fantastic build-up of suspense and moved along very smoothly. It was very well-written. Though it is a short story Coppel took time to develop each main character in a way that didn’t weigh the story down but still gave it a more “meaty” feel to it, creating a well-rounded and satisfying experience for the reader.
Lightning Strike 4/5
I thought this was an interesting story. This one had the same kind of slow-burning suspense that we see in Alfred Hitchcock films while simultaneously employing expertise in creepiness in the form of an automated smart home.
Last Touch 5/5
This was a good short story. What stood out to me was the seamless flow of the plot and how background information was carefully worked in and presented. I also particularly like the way the ending was written in this story.
Lost Words 4/5
I also really enjoyed this story. Overall, it was a good read. I would have liked a little more substance to make the ending a bit clearer, but that could be just me and how I interpreted it.
Labour Shortage 4/5
This was a fantastic story. Some might feel it moves a little slow, but it all comes together fabulously. I did notice a number of simple errors throughout this story that could have probably been remedied with the use of spell check and grammar check. But that would be my only complaint. Such errors just makes the story a little harder to read.
Lethal Assignment 5/5
This tale was amazing! This one might even be my favorite. This story had a fast pace, it flowed nicely and it embodied what I consider to be a great mystery type of story. The suspense is great and makes for a thrilling story. I especially loved the ending on this one.
Light Dusting 5/5
I found this to be an all-around well-balanced good story. It is very well-written with an easy flow of thought and plot just like the other stories. It incorporates a few surprises which I always find exciting in horror and thriller stories. This story had a fabulous ending and it left me feeling very satisfied.
Long Shadows 4/5
In this story, I liked the build-up. The story had a great flow that led to a great ending. The explanation of the shadows felt a little disconnected and a bit unnatural as if it were inserted into the story at a later time, not as a natural part of the creation of the original plot. Luckily, that didn’t take away from the overall story and I thought it was really good.
Lasting Memories 2/5
This was my least favorite story in the collection. This one moved too slowly for me. There were also some oddities in this one. The character’s last name on page one is Grant and then on page twenty-five, it’s suddenly Hall. I wouldn’t have considered this a horror or thriller story either. It almost seemed like a magical, mystical Hallmark Christmas movie type of story. There were a number of sentences where words seemed to be missing, kind of like the author was trying to get his hands to keep up with his thoughts and inevitably, some words got left out. Again, it just makes the story a little difficult to read and follow if things are confusing due to errors.
Though there were a few errors and hiccups here and there, I really enjoyed this collection. It’s not lost on me that the title of the collection uses words that begin with L and that each story title starts with an L. I found this to be a fun little tidbit, I just wish I knew what the reason was behind that so I could maybe appreciate it a bit more. But, overall, this was a fun group of twisted tales that are surely going to satisfy any horror/thriller lover.