Top Suspense, is a collection of short stories complied and written by the members of Top Suspense Group.
Each author contributed one story to the collection, with the final story being a round robin story with each of the twelve authors contributing to it.
Before I go into the review as such, I’ve got to say that I’m generally left cold with a lot of short stories. I very rarely buy short story collections, and multi author anthologies even less so.
So what drew me to this collection, to be honest it was the calibre of authors presented here. I’ve been a fan of Ed Gorman, Harry Shannon and Stephen Gallagher for a number of years. And this past year I have discovered two new favourite authors, Dave Zeltserman and Lee Goldberg and at £2.14, even I couldn’t grumble at that price.
Presented for our reading pleasure are the following stories
1: Unreasonable Doubt – Max Allan Collins
2: Death’s Brother – Bill Crider
3: Poisoned – Stephen Gallagher
4: Remaindered – Lee Goldberg
5: Fire In The Sky – Joel Goldman
6: The Baby Store – Ed Gorman
7: The Jade elephant – Libby Fischer Hellmann
8: The Big O – Vicki Hendricks
9: The Chirashi Covenant – Naomi Hirahara
10: El Valiente en el Infierno – Paul Levine
11: A Handful of Dust – Harry Shannon
12: The Canary – Dave Zeltserman
13: The Chase – Top Suspense Group
Each and every one of these stories deserves to be in a book called top suspense. They are all extremely well written, punchy and tight, with a killer twist in the tail. For those of you old enough to remember Tales Of The Unexpected, this collection is of a similar calibre, where each story left me with a wry smile on my face, when the twist was revealed. Although some of them the smile was tempered with a feeling of shock. Thanks for that Ed, your story really disturbed me.
My personal favourites of the collection are
The Canary – Dave Zeltserman , a great story where a small time crook gets caught when the canary sings.
A Handful of Dust – Harry Shannon, a creepy new spin on the hit-man story sometimes there are things more scary than a hit man
Remaindered – Lee Goldberg, a laugh out loud tale of a writer reduced to touring supermarkets to flog his books. And why first editions are worth the money.
The Baby Store – Ed Gorman, an extremely shocking story about genetic engineering and a couple coming to terms with the loss of their child.
To be honest most of the authors here I had never heard of let alone read. My reading preferences normally swing towards horror and fantasy. I have only read a handful of crime stories. If this is the quality of writing I’m missing out on then, goodbye vampires, hello trilby and trench coat. This a truly fantastic collection, each author brings their own voice to each tale,resulting in a collection that is both rich, varied and highly entertaining. Seriously folks there isn’t one single filler here. Top Suspense by name Top Suspense by nature. Whoever instigated the formation of the group and brought all these gifted authors together deserves a medal. They should also feel guilty, as I’m going to be spending a lot more money on books, getting all of these folks back catalogue
Available from all good online e-book stores