I took the opportunity over the Bank Holidays to read a few short stories as a break from the full length books – about all my concentration could cope with on a full stomach! All were either free loans with Amazon Prime or purchased for a grand total of 99p. Here are my thoughts:
About the Book
A darkly comic short story of class divide, the lives we invent, and the very real risks of preserving an Insta-fame facade by the award-winning author of My Sister, the Serial Killer.
Treasure is a wannabe Instagram influencer in Lagos, Nigeria. She shows off a luxurious life in a gated community that her almost five thousand followers can only dream of. @Sho4Sure is determined to be part of it. The macho mechanic is Treasure’s number one fan, and double taps and blushing emojis are no longer enough. He needs to meet her in the flesh. If only Treasure were more prepared for destiny.
Oyinkan Braithwaite’s Treasure is part of Hush, a collection of six stories, ranging from political mysteries to psychological thrillers, in which deception can be a matter of life and death. Each piece can be read or listened to in one truly chilling sitting.
Be careful what you wish for. All Treasure dreams of is to be worshipped – preferably from afar – as she builds her Instagram following seeking that ever important blue tick. Her account is certainly receiving attention, but perhaps not all of the kind she might wish for.
This is a great short story which highlights the many perils of a life lived on line. In just a few short pages, Oyinkan Braithwaite paints a picture of a young woman who seeks adulation, but whose internet persona is not all it appears to be. We’ve all seen it, we all know of the cases of people who paint themselves in a picture perfect way, whilst reality is a very distant cousin. In this case, that creativity, the vanity comes at quite a heavy price. I liked the way in which the author sets the scene, sets a certain kind of expectation for the reader, and the other characters in the story, whilst keeping the twist in the tale well hidden until the crucial moment. A moralistic tale to a degree, entertaining and with a real sense of place establisher very quickly. Great for a brief break from everyday madness.
About the Book
When a barrier between truth and illusion grows stronger, a family’s trust crumbles in this arresting short story by the number one New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10.
Leah has spent her formative years isolated on a remote island with her family. But their quiet existence, far from the devastated mainland, is cracking. Father, sensing a coming threat, demands that a wall be built. As the stone blockade rises, Father’s paranoia escalates. So does Leah’s dread that the violence the family left behind has found its way to their sanctuary.
Ruth Ware’s Snowflakes is part of Hush, a collection of six stories, ranging from political mysteries to psychological thrillers, in which deception can be a matter of life and death. Each piece can be read or listened to in one truly chilling sitting.
I really enjoyed this story which didn’t turn out as I was expecting at all. Ruth Ware is brilliant at creating misdirection, making you believe one thing when the exact opposite is true. In the case of Snowflakes she has created a story which messes with both your sense of time and place, and yet still outs you directly in the heart of the story. She creates a real sense of mystery, tension and atmosphere as she tells the tale of a family living ins fear on a remote island, evading conflict and preparing for the worst. I loved that I was caught completely unaware, that there was still a real sense of surprise as the full story is slowly revealed. Definitely a brilliant short story worth a quick read.
About the Book
It was winter. Cold and clear, a different sort of day for this coast where the westerly winds usually blew rain and cloud.
Detective Inspector Matthew Venn is standing by his kitchen window when he first spots them. Two young girls, facing away from him, seemingly staring towards something in the distance. They are holding hands, and they are alone.
Though not a natural with children, Matthew knows he must find out why the girls are here, on a school day, unsupervised. And so he meets Olivia and Imogen, a pair of sisters whose secrets Matthew must uncover if he hopes to get them home.
I really enjoy the Matthew Venn/Two Rivers series from Ann Cleeves, and this quick catch up with Venn and his colleague, Jen was a nice reminder of why. Spying two young girls standing on the remote beach in front of his property, Venn is intrigued by their presence and sets out to find out why they are there all alone. What follows is a brief, but emotional story of a family in need of help, highlighting what makes this series so special. It’s that sense that the needs of the characters is the real heart of the story, above any sense of intrigue or mystery. There is a small mystery attached to this one, but it is more an exploration of character than it is a full scale police investigation. It has whet my appetite for a new Matthew Venn full length novel though. I hope one’s not too far away.