Fallen Angel by James Harper is a short story published in 2017. The short story is remarkably good for being so surprising while still being remarkably short. Evan and Kate begin the story at a bar where the inebriated Kate is telling Evan about the horrible nature of suicide, about how a body sounds when it descends from a high altitude and meets street pavement. She can give an authoritative account to Evan because a few hours prior such a body had made such a sound as it landed inches away from her on a pavement that she was traveling. The police ruled it suicide. Kate, being a cop, could accept this. She didn’t want a mind-wasting analysis of possibilities from Evan.
Evan wasn’t going to supply alternatives until a client appeared at his office to ask for help. Claire Henderson didn’t accept the police theory of suicide. She wanted to know who killed sister Jessica. When she visited the police, she overheard police officer Kate disparaging the notions of Evan about the possibilities of a homicide. Claire tracked down Evan, now working as a private investigator. Evan could grudgingly accept Kate’s police assessment. Claire’s appearance changed his mind. She was a double for Evan’s missing wife. Missing, lost, not found, we learn nothing more about Evan’s wife. This is not her story. Another surprise comes when Evan learns that the near double for his wife is also a double for dead sister Jessica. The reader’s mind starts to take weird paths.
The investigation is on with Evan, open to all possibilities, Kate, determined to stick with a police determination of suicide, Claire, determined that her sister’s death was a homicide and equally determined to find the murderer and a classic case of how a murder could have taken place. No one was seen entering the apartment complex. There was a doorman on duty. No one left the complex after the murder, the doorman had locked the doors before going to investigate the cause of all the pedestrian screaming. A suicide chain was in place at the window where the body exited the apartment. It was still attached and could not be reattached if a murderer had left by the window.
There were two questions. What really happened and how had it happened? There is quite a surprise ending and this is a short story worth reading to find out what the ending is. Along the way, there is snappy dialogue between investigative rivals Evan and Kate. James Harper has written a couple of novels with subtitles “An Evan Buckley Mystery.” Those that read this intriguing novel will join the ranks of his readership. I could not find this on Amazon and got it from the author’s mailing list. Two of his novels, Bad to the Bones and Bad Call are available on Amazon, Bad to the Bones is free through KU.
I like the discovery possibilities that come with Amazon Samples. Most times they are good value and since I am in one of my positive moods (inspired by this sample) I won’t waste my time (or yours) with going into the negatives. Except for one and it is my fault, not Amazon’s. In a fairly short period of time, my unread samples list rivals my currently-I-am-really-going-to-read-this-next list. To attack this problem, I dedicate my Kindle Paperwhite to (mostly) Sample reading and I’ll leave the lengthy stuff to the Kindle apps on my laptop. Facing strident phone calls from my friendly Yamaha dealer to report for periodic service with my bike, I packed my book reader along with the intent to get through several samples during a lengthy bike service procedure.
Daughter of the Samurai by Etsu Sugimoto made my enforced confinement at the dealership too short. I was amazed that I finished the sample and still had time to return and review several points that provided me new information while making me smile at the skill and adroitness of the author’s expression. This was a great start to the day. I am unfamiliar with Japan, its history, its language and its culture. Anything I know about Japan comes from cursory observations provided by mass media which means that this sample provided a culture shock, although a pleasant one.
Continue reading “Samurai Links”
This is a reviewed copy from the author.
Many have heard of the term “nuclear family.” Without reference to the Hermit Kingdom, it is generally known that collections of nuclear stuff can achieve critical mass with explosive results. Material scatters everywhere. That is what happened in Idabel Allen’s novel Rooted. Readers did not witness this explosion; we will join the decimated family as a group with its fewest members in the beginning chapter of the novel. After the explosion, after a few years, the same scattered material may begin to coalesce. Allen will relate the painful process and problems with this “coming together.” As Allen points out “It all comes from the root. And Grover McQuiston was the root of it all.” (loc56-57).
Continue reading “You Can Go Home Again, It Ain’t Easy”
I follow, like, and read short stories by Tobias Wade, a contributor to this collection of short stories. I obtained the novel from his website. Wade writes approximately short stories several times per week and sends them out in email alerts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Some are brilliant, others are merely good but he is a writer that will hold the interest of genre horror fans.
This collection was written by four authors and has a total of 41 stories. David Maloney is an English teacher living in China. An expat English teacher and also a writer? With13 stories in this collection, he joins a well-populated subculture. Ha-yong Glen Bak lists editor among other credentials. Offering 11 titled stories plus a bonus story, writers must fear him as they fear all editors. Kyle Alexander is described as a professional graffiti artist. Is this another form of the ultimate short story, or flash fiction? Alexander contributes two short stories and a collection Teenagers which is presented in three chapters. Tobias Wade seems to be an outlier as far as writer associated occupations with a former profession of neuroscience researcher. Wade brings 12 stories to this collection. I have read another collection of his, 51 Sleepless Nights, and am currently reading The Last Man. I also enjoy his weekly horror wake-up calls. With so many stories to choose from, I will comment on my favorite contribution from each author.
Continue reading “A Collection of Horror Gems”
Despite the self-deprecating title, this is the third edition, published in 2015, of Dan’s Lame Novel by Dan C. Rinnert. The first edition was published in 2012, the second in 2013, then there was a stumble with no edition published in 2014, a further support to the claim of being lame.
There can be little critical comment about any breaking of rules of good writing because Rinnert preemptively criticizes himself. In a foreword, wisely written after completion of most of the novel, Rinnert identified most writing canon that he had blown up (pun intended) and proudly proclaimed that he had the right to do so. The warning for the reader is “You have been warned that this is a lame novel, read it at your own risk.”
Continue reading “Lame Story With Tacos”