A thoroughly enjoyable collection of short stories. I couldn’t put it down. That’s what they all say, isn’t it, but, really and truly, I was reading after midnight two nights running.
Some of the stories were flash and others some much longer. All carried a punch, many also with a twist. Scenarios ranged from a military hospital on a battlefield, adolescent mental health issues, assisted dying, and a surreal nativity play.
Many of the stories are set on the English south coast and the authentic local flavour of being written by someone who lives there. We read about Adrian, a twelve year old whose obsession with violent computer games appears to be affecting his mental health – or is he attracted to computer games because of his pre-existing mental health issues? In my favourite, Doubts and Benefits, the action took place in Yorkshire, and concerned an elderly couple, generous and law-abiding, a Post Office robbery and a teenager called Darren involved in a car crash. The interactions between the three characters, and the postmaster, whom they disliked, were fascinating and the twist, which the author prepared the readers for – although we dreaded it – was a gobsmacker.
William Wilson is a master at building up tension, layer by layer. He has an understated style which never gets in the way of story-telling – except when he is being witty. ‘…Peter’s mind was as busy as a disturbed wasp’s nest.’ ‘He ogles the rows of shotguns, the air pistols nestling like tinned mackerel inside their wooden boxes…’
A good read. I would post my review on Good Reads itself, if I was locked out. It won’t even send a password reset link to my email. Technology, eh? I may start a new account.
Published by Bridge House Publishing (2022)