The Title is a Pun

The Book Case by Nelson DeMille is a Kindle short story I downloaded from Kindle Unlimited (KU). This is a detective novel; the crime is the death of a bookstore owner. How did the owner die? He was killed by a falling bookcase. Refer to the title.

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A Short Story That Doesn’t Want To End

The Execution of the Axe Girl by J.G. Stirling might be a short story prequel to a longer novel or it might be the first in a series of equally short novels (41 pages). Just after the copyright, there is a section called the “The Axers Series.” Whether the titles listed are all equally short or whether they have all been published, I did not bother to find out. That failure to investigate may give a clue as to what I thought of this short story, one I downloaded through Kindle Unlimited (KU).

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Not a Ghost of a Chance

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix is a parody on DIY furniture shops and bears a striking resembling to Ikea. That is why in an introductory note entitled “Welcome to ORSK” (the name of our fictional store) Hendrix points out that everything to follow is the product of the author’s “fevered” imagination.

Amy is a low-level employee at Orsk. It is not that she is dumb or stupid, she just has no ambition to strive for success. If it should come to her, OK, but she does not feel she should have to exert a lot of effort to get there. She feels she is in a mindless factory worker type job. She doesn’t mind expressing her feelings to colleagues and supervisors. Her sarcasm is not appreciated by all.

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An Inspirational Personal Quest

The Long Run by Mishka is an inspiring story for addicts. It is hard in this account for the reader to separate alcohol addiction from drug addiction. Mishka seems to have done it all. The “thing” that save him was running. This was running in all its forms, from short distances to ultra- marathons and beyond. It would be inaccurate to say that something like running was an epiphany. First had to come the realization that his “present” life of daily drinking and doping wasn’t working. Then he had to come to the reality that sometimes his life was more fun with alcohol and drugs. Then he had to come to the decision point; which lifestyle had the least negative consequences? Which lifestyle, and all conceivable choices had negatives, had the least negatives? Running was an activity that helped lead to an alcohol and drug-free life. But running at the extreme distances Mishka ran in the face of the extreme pain that he forced himself to endure was also an addiction.

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Survival in Captivity

The Natural Way Of Things by Charlotte Wood is a multi-layered novel with many complex and well-developed characters. It begins as a mesmerizing tale of women in captivity. How did they get there? Who are their captors? Why were they selected for capture and extended confinement? The reader will be immediately presented with all these questions. Some will be answered as details are presented slowly and in an obscure manner as a tale of survival unfolds. Questions about some of the captives’ backgrounds will only be answered by reader imagination. This tale of captivity, survival, and human cruelty is a modern-day horror story.

The number of characters is large. Charlotte Wood develops each character to illustrate a set of human frailties. How will each character react to extreme, life-threatening adversity? Will each character be able to appreciate her own change? The changes come about primarily to the women captives although there is one female captor as well as two males. The female captor character is well developed, the two males less so. Looking at the characters, we have:

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Killed in Iceland

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent is a fiction novel based on fact about the last woman to be executed in Iceland. After a lengthy time used for appeals, she was executed in 1828. There are no real surprises in the book as the case and result are a matter of historical record. The value of the book is in the character portrayals Kent provides. “A Note on Icelandic Names and Pronunciation” followed by a map prepares the reader for a presentation that is extremely well-researched. A reader will be able to make sense of the meaning in dialogues between main characters without the pronunciation guide but it is nice to have. Letters between government officials and religious functionaries are written in a complex style reflecting the times. Such letters written in the present time would be considered verbose and overly polite. Again, this gives the reader a sense of research well done.

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Lucky But Not Heroic

This is a Kindle Short that I downloaded through Kindle Unlimited (KU).

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler is to receive a medal for bravery from the Queen of England. While in preparation for receiving his medal, he sees others medal awardees and feels all of them are more deserving than him. After leaving the medals ceremony, Simon walks through an area of London he patrolled as a new PC. He recalls an incident that occurred in his first year when he was first called a hero. He had been involved in an incident of a jewelry store robbery. The thieves had not been caught but Simon had briefly glanced at the face of one of the thieves who had fled on foot. Simon gave chase but lost the trail of the thief. A few days later, while off duty, he sighted the man again and gave chase. The thief tried to use the roofs of buildings to get away and fell through a glass roof of a mall. Falling several stories to a marble ground floor, he was killed. Simon felt guilty about the loss of human life even though the thief was a career criminal with a long record.

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