As a fan of thrillers, I was intrigued by the book Nothing Good Happens After Midnight: A Suspense Magazine Anthology. This is a collection of terrific short stories by a group of authors who each have impressive track records for excellence in the genre. Some of the authors I was very familiar with, some are new to me. Several of the authors wrote about established characters in existing series. Some stories read like episodes from The Twilight Zone. The authors include Jeffery Deaver, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Heather Graham, Rhys Bowen and more.
Short form fiction is not something I read a lot of. It takes a real skill to quickly bring the reader into a story, get you to care without a long build up and then quickly hit you with a meaningful twist at the end. These authors, in this delightfully creative book, manager to aptly tingle the spine each time. Here’s a summary of each story:
- In 12:01 AM, Alan Jacobson tells the heart-pounding story of an FBI profiler trying to get information from a serial killer minutes before his execution as it appears a copycat or trained partner is continuing his work.
-Cell Phone Intolerant by Kevin O’Brien is about a man who is fed up with rude people who are constantly on their cell phones. We can all relate. But Ed takes his anger a little too far.
-One of my favorites was All Aboard by Hank Phillippi Ryan. With shades of Strangers on a Train, this great story is about a PR executive on a sleeper train who overhears from the next room a plot against a woman. When the train stops, Cady inserts herself into the situation.
-Gone Forever by Joseph Badal is a sad tale of a mass killing. Given the subject matter, this was my least favorite.
-In Night Shift by Linwood Barclay, we were taken into a newsroom where a man has called in threatening to go on a killing spree.
-Heather Graham brings on the creepy in Midnight in the Garden of Death where a group of teens have a sleepover in a graveyard.
-Paul Kemprecos’ series character Aristotle Socarides is featured in The Sixth Decoy. The sometimes private investigator takes a case working for a man of questionable character.
-Jeffery Deaver is the editor of this book and has also included one of its most creative stories aptly titled, A Creative Defense about a very unusual murder.
Rhys Bowen’s After Midnight offers two variations on the story of Cinderella.
-Easy Peasy by John Lescroart shows us how antics of high school kids can turn out very badly.
-Tonic by D.P. Lyle is about a very sinister way two cousins decide to make a living.
Shannon Kirk’s Tonight is the Night is a suspenseful ride in a ski resort where one of the worker’s tall tales may catch up with him.
-Jon Land’s ATM is another favorite. A young man in New York City who has had a hard life, may find his luck is about to change.
Well worth checking this book out.
Many thanks to Suspense Publishing and LibraryThing for the opportunity to read this wonderful collection in advance of its release.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Mystery / Thriller Short Stories.
Publication Date: November 17, 2020.
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