Today’s book review of a short story collection is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey.
Dark Lane by Tim Jeffreys
Unfortunately this collection as it stands is no longer available but some of stories feature on Tim’s other collections – see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tim-Jeffreys/e/B00716BX34.
After a short musical intro, the first story is ‘Dream Woman’, a sweet tale about longing, destiny and being in the right place at the right time.
‘The People Under the Bridge’ carries on the fantastical theme but is darker and cleverly narrated with a female main vocal and whispers by others, giving it a suitably eerie feel.
‘A Better Life’ is funny, and still dark, and about a man who gets more than he bargained for when he wishes for the perfect life – to give up work and write a novel. Who would do such a thing? 🙂
‘Rain Songs’ is an intriguing title and while it has little to do with the story itself but is a phrase used in the piece, something I often do. A woman confronts a man in a café and the reason why is gradually revealed with twists along the way. I had to listen to the ending a couple of times before it twigged what had happened.
With a similar feel to ‘The People Under the Bridge’, ‘The Well’ is an eerie tale. The shortest story so far – short and most definitely not sweet. An impact for sure.
‘The Haunted Wood’ returns us to the female narrator and is more gothic than the other tales.
‘The Man in Black’ is about a man suffering from depression, the words ‘Black Dog’ near the beginning giving the hint of the dark tale to come.
‘Terminus’ is a very apt title and a very believable story, and how I would imagine… I won’t say what, you’ll have to read it for yourself.
‘Crayon Drawings’ appears to be a well-worn theme used in films of a missing child and dark drawings but the last minute of the story brings another unexpected twist and a great open ending.
The female narrates ‘The Big Hand’, about a couple’s relationship (from her pov) and the influence of a clock running through the story.
‘The Journey’ concludes the collection and had the feel of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road where we accompany the man (alone and otherwise) on his journey.
For a self-published collection, it had a very professional feel to it. The mixture of the author’s and guest voices was refreshing although I struggled to hear some of the tracks where they were too quiet.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a prolific blogger, podcaster, editor / critiquer, Chair of NWG (which runs the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition), Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition and creative writing tutor for her local county council. She is also a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog, https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, is consumed by all things literary. She is also active on Twitter, Facebook along with many others (listed on her blog’s Contact page). She also recently created five online writing groups and an interview-only blog.
Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List ($0.99 / £0.77) and she has six others (mostly crime) in the works. She also has eight collections of short stories available (also $0.99 / £0.77 each) – detailed on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine/short-stories.
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