I am a member of a fab Facebook group called Crime Fiction Addict. It is a veritable treasure trove of book reviews, recommendations, new release information, hilarious threads and all around friendly people. The 2,500-strong group was created by established author Betsy Freeman Reavley, and in December 2016 Betsy and 39 other authors released ‘Dark Minds’ in order to raise money for two very worthwhile charities: Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal.
Here is my review!
The blurb on the back:
“You think you know darkness? Think again. Bloodhound Books presents Dark Minds – a collection of stories by authors who have come together to produce an anthology that will lure, tantalise and shock its readers. What took place By the Water? What goes on behind A Stranger’s Eyes? And what is so special about Slow Roast Pork? From master authors such as Lisa Hall, Steven Dunne, Louise Jensen and Anita Waller, readers can expect a one hell of a ride…All profits from the sale of this book will be donated to Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal. Dark Minds: a collection of crime and thriller short stories from some of your favourite authors.”
£8.99 (paperback) on Amazon
£2.99 (kindle) on Amazon
I’ll get my one and only negative comment out the way and that is just that I didn’t enjoy every single story – though I think this is a moot point given that the book includes stories from 40 writers; there is bound to be something in here that you don’t love!
I LOVED reading this collection – and it took longer than you’d think; at 399 pages you are definitely getting your monies worth! My favourite reads were A Christmas Killing by Richard T Burke, Slow Roast Pork by S E Lynes and Never Tell a Lie by Tara Lyons. I really liked getting to experience stories from so many different authors, most of whom I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading yet.
If you’ve read this book, what were your favourites?
I loved that every writer had a slightly different take on the theme ‘dark minds’ with fascinating results from the terrifying, to the psychologically thrilling right through to the just-plain-funny.
If you are a newbie crime writer there are some advantages to investing in some short story collections. For example, this book gives you 40 first lines: which ones caught your eye? why? were some of them not so good? what would you change them to? Consider also the last line of each story: did you prefer cliffhanger endings? which stories left you wanting to know more? Doing a little deconstruction on short stories like this may help you identify what it is you like in a story of this genre, perhaps making your own writing direction a little clearer!
Over to you
Have you read ‘Dark Minds’? Could you recommend any other short story collections? Let me know in the comments.