Sat. Dec 14th, 2019

Read 4 Fun

Read the short reviews, read the book, comment

The Devil Takes Many Forms

3 min read

I received a copy of this book from the Library Thing Early Reviewer program in return for a review. I liked the caveat at the front of the book that this was an uncorrected proof copy; I was not expected to proofread it. I could just comment on the stories. I recall finding one incorrect word choice; it did not slow down my reading. This is an entertaining collection of stories. There is a list at the end of the book about where the stories were first published. Collections of short stories have many tales that are good companion pieces to carry around and read during boring staff meetings. I will comment on each of the stories below the book icon.

Introduction     It is good to read introductions. Here we find out that at least two of the stories are whimsical, having been written for family oriented magazines. The rest are meant to scare (and entertain) the reader.

Until I Come Again     From this story, the reader might think the Devil fills a support role for Jack the Ripper.

Advocatus Diaboli      I was quite entertained by the discussion of the meanings of “devil’s advocate.” Another interesting thing to consider is this story appearing in the 2016 election year.

Bargain           The FBI passed up an offer to trade a high-value criminal for a lower level, too bad for the eventual victim.

Again the Burning Times        The Salem Witch Trials are revisited in a high-tech world. There are Similar results for similar reasons (protection of reputation and political position) but updated.          Decisions must be made under a deadline. Was the right decision made here?

Meat Wagon    Sometimes you do not want to know what is inside the trucks that travel our streets unmarked.

Let Us Prey     As a person who loves a good play on words, I could almost see this one coming. But the one I saw was in the title. The really clever language play is embedded in the story. Read business cards carefully.

Reunion           Sometimes you just don’t want to be recognized, even if the person who recognizes you is your spouse.

Good Egg        This is one of the whimsical stories. It might have been meant for kids but it might be difficult to convince them of breakfast with eggs after this.

Blood Moon Rising     This is the story with the most unexpected ending. I like surprise endings.

Bounty             He was proud of his dad. He wanted to grow up and fill dad’s shoes as a lawman until he found a career much more interesting.

The Predators             A classic tale of betrayal. With all these characters, who is betraying whom?

Devil to Pay    Susan thought she was in business to buy souls, but the nearby competition was stiff.

Janus                           Janus could not lie, but that doesn’t mean you should take all his words at face value.

The Last Sorcerer         Krause had just seen the last sorcerer on Earth die. There were no more, right?

Deal Breaker               This is another take on how to break a contract with the Devil.

Surprise Attack            The NRA is not going to like this story.

Soul Survivor               Another tale you should pay attention to if you have to fool the devil sometime in the future.

Huff / Puff                   The second whimsical tale, one of witches, spirits, and pigs.

Bump in the Night       This is a tale illustrating the principle of Occam’s Razor. Sometimes the most obvious and simple answer is the correct one.

Courtesy Call              Two cool cops trying to deliver a warning. They were a bit too cool. I am not quite sure why this story is in this collection, but it is worth reading.

Last Rights                  Speed reading is good. Who would imagine that speed talking can also be valuable?



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