Short Story Review: A Man To Die For

A Man To Die For

It isn’t often that I read or write outside of my normal genres: Fiction, Sci-Fi, Thriller. Recently I was on Scribophile when I saw a fellow Scribophile user had published their short story on Amazon. Wanting to help a fellow writer from Scribophile I read the short story despite it not being a genre that I normally write in.

Here is the Amazon Link:

Here is the description from Amazon:

Aishling marries a kind, decent man who gradually turns into a violent monster. When she finally leaves him she thinks it’s the start of a new life for herself and her kids. But will Josh ever let her go?

Aishling (an interesting name) is a moving character that portrays a modern woman who is suffering from domestic violence. All she wants to do is believe that her husband is a good person and keep the family together. Then, Aishling believes it is all her fault. Finally, it moves into the part where Aishling must escape.

Time and time again this is what we hear about domestic violence victims go through. It is a whole different story to be put in a victim’s shoes. And the ending? Something you would never expect.

Despite being what I thought would be a drama, there was quite the mix of writing in the book. Val mixes in action, suspense, and thriller aspects to this piece.

I read this book and really enjoyed it. If you have Amazon Unlimited I highly recommend you try reading the book for free. Otherwise, it is just 99 cents.

Val Collins does a great job at writing and what impresses me more is that she has self-published this short story to Amazon. Something I don’t think I have ever seen before. It is an inspiration. I hope to see Val go far and grow as an author.

Christopher Nuttall’s Bookworm

Christopher Nuttall’s book Bookworm is an interesting tale of a librarian who does not know her parents.  When the Great Sorcer dies and Elaine opens a book that deposits the whole Great Library into her head, including the forbidden books.  At the same time as Elaine fears for her life she finds a new bravery that allows her to hunt for clues as to what happened to her which leads to political mischief that she never would have guessed.

Bookworm has elements of both science and magic intertwined in the story.  Magic leads to all sciences in the book.  Magic appears as a shortcut to what can be otherwise achieved, therefore those with magic are higher in society.  I cannot help but feel the work is a comment on society today.  This is one of the reasons I have chosen not to read another one of Nuttall’s books for the time being.  When I go to read I want to read something that is fiction and if it has comments on society I want to be able to read over them instead of being reminded of them.  I like the idea of reading transporting me to a new world.

The Hunger Games Trilogy

I decided to read the Hunger Games Trilogy on a recommendation from a friend and based on the fact that I liked the movie.  After watching the movie I was not prepared for the darkness that appeared in the books; the death, the political commentary, the torture.  Even Katniss has been made into a brighter character in the movie.  Where she is always pretty in the movie and not very timid, she appears timid and not the prettiest in the book.   Despite the darkness, Suzanne Collin’s does a fabulous job at writing this series.

The series is about a girl, Katniss Everdeen, who is pitted against 23 other opponents in an arena known as the Hunger Games.  To survive she must kill of the other contestants, and no this isn’t some video game.  When winning with the other tribute from her District (hometown), she angers the game makers and the President.  What will she do to survive?  Run and hide or become something closer to the character we see in the movie?  Smart, calculating, and not scared.

Here is the trailer for the first movie:


Here is the Trailer for the second movie:

I recommend this book as with most of the books I read and review; however, I suggest that it not be given as a gift to kids who can’t stand dark stories.  So pick up a copy at your local book store or on your Kindle (like I did) and read it.  Remember, may the odds be forever in your favor!

Skeleton’s Knee

Lt. Joe Gunther has had his fair share of difficult investigations, but when an autopsy reveals a hospital patient died of a bullet that had been in his body for years Joe Gunther’s day gets even harder.  While searching the dead patient’s house for clues they discover a second body, this one as old as the bullet wound and the only identifier left is the skeleton’s artificial knee.  Transporting the skeleton ends up to be almost fatal as an unknown assailant opens up fire on the vehicle carrying the body.  This is not to be the last time Lt. Gunther is shot at in this case.

In Chicago trying to track down the doctor who put in the artificial knee Lt. Gunther encounters more problems then back home.  After getting someone killed, Lt. Gunther is not only shot at again but meets the mob and gets captured.

I know I have said it before but again Archer Mayor has improved his writing.  Not only has he significantly reduced occurrences of multiple people talking in one paragraph (something my non-fiction writing professor also doesn’t like) but Mayor successfully weaves one of his most detailed cases yet.  I can’t wait to finish the next book!