59 Hours is a darkly sinister short story set somewhere in the period of the Dust Bowl days of middle America. Farms are going under due to the drought; and all across the country, money is tight for farm families. People are willing to go to great lengths to save their land or secure for themselves some modicum of wealth for their future. Greed brings out the absolute worst traits in human beings.
Through a mixture of internal dialogue, flashbacks, and straight forward third person perspective, the author draws a sketch of two people who cross paths only because neither one of them are where they should be. Neither is aware that they are actually cut from the same cloth, so to speak.
While the ending certainly left me impressed by its dark twist and somewhat unexpected revelations, I struggled with the unrealistic speech patterns and forced dialogue. Just when I would start to get a feel for one of the character’s personalities by their word choices, a phrase or sentence would throw everything off again. Michael was set up as a quiet, sullen lurker at first and suddenly became very charismatic. I would have found him more believable if he had immediately laid on the charm to the young woman on his doorstep.
There were some very fine passages in the mix that helped propel the story, but I found myself wanting more of these same meaningful word choices that showed me the situation and surroundings with the same inventive imagery. I wanted to really feel the excitement that Frances felt at the taste of her new life. The words simply didn’t instill the feelings in the way I expected. The ending was much better than the beginning.
“Two weathered straight backed chairs on the porch faced the road. Frances sat on the nearest one and fidgeted to kill time, unsure of what to do next. Her fingers nervously drummed against her legs as she listened for any sound of life.”
3 Stars – A good story, suitable to its genre, especially at the end; but there were a few flaws that held me back.
59 Hours is available on Smashwords.com
Nightmares and Other Therapy
Michael couldn’t understand the nightmares that made him violent on waking, mostly because he didn’t have the courage to think his problem through. Eventually, pressured into entering a mental hospital by his employers he thought that here he would find answers and a way to a better life. He was never more wrong.
From the Amazon Reviews
For starters I really enjoyed how this book was written. The tone and pace of the book made it all the more enjoyable…….
Although this isn’t necessarily a happy book, I’d still recommend it. It’s well written and is very thought provoking…..
The characters are a lot of fun….
It was unique and the major plot point that separates this novel from the others on the shelf. The split persona between Michael and his imaginary friend is extremely well-done…..
It was well written, with believable and realistic characters…..
Fast paced thriller/chiller that
kept me up late into the night. Very original story line…..
Those who like a good thriller will enjoy Nightmares and Other Therapy.
About the Author
D W Carver worked for several years as a community mental health counsellor in East London, England and much of his writing comes from those years, working with obsessional people and those suffering from anxiety disorders.
A Mirrors Beginning: John Brooks is a recently published short story describing one of the main characters of the Mirror series by K.G. Stutts. We are pulled into a somewhat predictable “bad home-life” situation where four siblings are left to fend for themselves while their mother prostitutes herself and disappears for days at a time. The children are separated by the foster care system. After a rough life in and out of jail, John Brooks has little hope for a decent future. He is then suddenly pulled out of that life into an MIB meets The Last Starfighter world. The ISC is a secret organization where human kind works with alien life in the galaxy. Each agent is replaced in real life by a clone with all of the memories of the original.
By the end of this brief, open-ended tale, I was somewhat confused as to the purpose of the clones, who all work for the same call center and apparently have different names than their originals – at least one of then clearly did (Madison instead of Mackenzie). I thought I understood that the clones took the place of the real agents in their lives as though nothing had happened. I even wondered why they bothered to make a clone of John Brooks, who had no family and no job outside of ISC. Nor did the clone display any of the behaviors of John Brooks before he became an agent. Such a profound change of personality might be suspect.
The writing is decent enough and the style suits the genre. I did enjoy the use of description, particularly in the opening scene while a young John waits outside a restaurants for handouts.
The entire Mirror Series is available through Amazon.com
A female vigilante with a degree in chemistry.
This book draws on a dozen social issues—gay rights, sexism in science and business, gangs, and terrorism. I now want to visit New York City less than I did before. (Personally, I’m not a huge fan of millions of people living on top of each other in relatively little land area.) This is a combination of religious self-searching and action thriller, not two things I normally associate with each other.
While a little bit preachy in some passages, the overall action is quickly paced and widely disbursed amidst the picture of Sabrina Brook’s daily life as CEO and churchgoer. I kept reading to get to the next twist in the adventure of the start-up vigilante. I would have liked reading about more of the action as a real-time event, rather than as a news story afterward. Being inside the character’s head during a fight scene is much different than the aftermath. The second half of the story leans toward more direct action.
John does a good job of hooking you in for the ride. You will like Sabrina from the get-go and hope that everything works out for her in the end, including her romance with a former classmate from law enforcement school. She takes a few bumps and bruises in all aspects of her life.
The flow was a little choppy since it wasn’t in strict chronological order, but after a couple of chapters, the jumps felt less distracting and only minorly detracted from the overall entertainment. I found it a unique draw that several terrorist groups used in the book were made up of all gay members working for an extreme homophobe. However, in the end, I was a bit confused by the overall message .