...If you can get past the unconventional formatting, crime, and even literary fiction readers, should pick this one up....
Another Quiet Night in Desperation is a set of four short crime and slice-of-life stories.
Before I get to the stories themselves, the first thing I am going to mention is the formatting because it nearly stopped me reading this. For the first two stories instead of speech marks, each piece of speech is started on a new line with a dash, and there’s rarely an indication of who is speaking. I was left fighting the formatting to read this, and it is a shame because these are very good stories: a man watching his life fall apart in a town called Desperation, and two bystanders caught up in an armed robbery. The last two stories, starting with “Death at the Crossroads”, have conventional speech formatting, although “Death at the Crossroads” is let down by one character’s surname changing from Most to Lost and vice versa several times.
Overall these are a mix of very dark slice-of-life stories and outright crime fiction. They are gripping and even the character pieces have a plot. The last one, Mitigating Circumstances, did remind me of an old TV episode, I believe it was the Twilight Zone, but I’m not going to spoil it by saying which one and it is still definitely worth a read.
Characterisation, plot, writing, all are excellent. It is just a shame about the formatting on the first two. Also, and this threw me initially, the table of contents is at the end, not the beginning. If you can get past the unconventional formatting, crime, and even literary fiction readers, should pick this one up. I say that despite the formatting and surname mistakes mentioned above, so you know these are not bad stories.Rating: 3
Reviewed on: 2017-01-03
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