Friday, May 16, 2014

Trouble in Mind by Jeffery Deaver

What could be better than one of Deaver’s amazing stories? How about a collection of twelve amazing stories; I love his short story collections almost as much as his novels. With this collection I get a bunch of different stories with Deaver’s classic twists and misdirection all in one great book. I really enjoy short story collections because I can sit and read a whole story in a very short amount of time. That comes in handy these days with how little time I have to read. I also like to be able to read a short story if I am stuck in something else I’m reading. It’s a nice break from a full novel sometimes and I usually go back to the novel and enjoy it more having set it aside for a while.

Just like in Deaver’s Twisted and More Twisted collections, there isn’t a bad story in this. I of course have my favorites but they were all a lot of fun to read. Writing short stories is really tough, as a writer you have a very small window to introduce your characters, set the story, and grab the reader’s attention.  When I write I can get very wordy at times so my attempts at writing short fiction have not been what I would consider good. I have a lot of respect for writers who can create a really good short story and Deaver is one of the best.

Some of my favorite stories in this collection are: “A Text Book Case”, “Game”, and “Reconciliation”. “A Text Book Case” is a Lincoln Rhyme story and it was awesome. The crime scene in this is so detailed and complex that it shocked Rhyme and his team.  Rhyme had to figure out a whole new way to look at the evidence in this case in order to make sense out of what happened. The suspense was still intense and I enjoy the crime scene procedure stuff in these stories. “Game” is one of the shorter stories but it was reminiscent of a Sherlock Holmes style deductive reasoning story. A very wealthy woman goes missing and, assuming she has been the victim of foul play, her housekeeper hires a private detective to find out anything he can. Even if that means her boss/friend is in fact dead she at least wants closure. I really thought for a moment that I had this story all figured out. I was pretty proud of myself until the very end. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

“Reconciliation” was really good and it wasn’t until the very end that I appreciated this story. This is a great example of how short stories allow an author to try something different. I won’t spoil it for you but the ending is not how I would expect Deaver to end a story. I loved it, I actually gasped when I got to the twist. My co-worker asked if I was ok because it was so loud (Yes I was reading at work. I love my kindle). Thinking about these three stories I can’t pick just one that is my favorite, and don’t think that these are the only good stories in this book. I didn’t find a bad one in this collection these were just the ones I liked the most.
Wow, I had a lot to say about this book and I really could have gone on for pages talking about each story, but I will end this review here. I love short story collections and this is one of the best I have read. I give this my highest marks at 5 out of 5 stars. If you are looking for some great stories this is the collection for you. Go get this book as soon as you can, you won’t regret it.

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