READ 22 January 2012
MY RATING 4 / 5
Reviewed for and on behalf of the Kindle Book Review
One Bad Twelve is a collection of short stories, and brings together four other compilations. I’m not usually a fan of short stories, I much prefer something deeper that allows a good solid plot line to develop. That said, Iden’s stories are all nice discrete entities, and each one different in subject and style to the others, making for a varied and interesting read.
The blurb for this book on Amazon states:
Thirteen tales had to be bribed, shoved, and bullied into the collection…these stories–chock full of dirty motives, relentless ambitions, and a lop-sided view of the world–aren’t used to being pushed around. Most would be filed under Thriller or Crime Fiction or Psychological Twist, but each collection also has a humorous (okay, darkly humorous) story at the end to leave you laughing.
I’m not sure they’d be classed as true ‘thrillers’, personally I don’t think any short story can be a thriller – I don’t think there is enough time to build a deep enough plot line. That said the stories do have a dark side to them, and the breadth of the stories, in terms of the areas that Iden explores, are wide and ranging. For example, the first story tells the tale of an undercover cop, another about a victim of identity theft (and subsequent fraud) to a darker story of a serial rapist.
As in any collection of short stories there’s always going to be some that don’t work for you, and I have to say that for me it was ‘Possession’ I just didn’t understand it! However, the other stories were great, and particular favourites included ‘The Wrong Job’, ‘Dead Letter’ and ‘An Appalachian Love Story’.
Iden approaches each story in a different way, and I loved the ‘Dead Letter’ approach – I’d like to see Iden explore this further in future stories.
Another really great touch is that Iden provides the reader with a background to the stories and how he wrote them, expressing where the story was uncomfortable for him to write, to explaining his inspiration for the story. It neatly brings the book to a close and as a reader it’s great to get that link to an author. That’s why I love Indie authors – you get much closer to them than through the traditional publishing routes and thus get a better understanding of their work.
All in all, this book is a comfortable read. If you’re looking for a classic thriller than this isn’t for you, but if you’re looking for a range of stories you can easily read and with an often dark twist, then you won’t go far wrong with One Bad Twelve.
I hope Iden will be further developing his writing into a full length novel, his writing style is wonderful and I’ll be keeping an eye out for Iden’s future works.
To read more about Matthew Iden, visit his blog here, or follow on twitter @CrimeRighter.