Book review – for readers and writers – no.141: Morgen Bailey reviews Bobo by Richard Schiver

07 Jan

Today’s book review of a single short story is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

Being a writer and editor, I read and review books with both hats. If you’re a writer reading this review and found it useful, do let me know.

Bobo by Richard Schiver

Bobo by Richard SchiverSynopsis: Awakening to find herself the victim of a kidnapping, Sarah realizes just how alone she really is. The kidnapper believes her husband will pay handsomely for her safe return, but he doesn’t know about their coming divorce. Help arrives from an unlikely source as Sarah comes face to face with old memories she’s kept hidden even from herself.

This short story is available via and


The first sentence is good: ‘The sound came to Sarah like a persistent pounding’, except that it is the first of a two-sentence first paragraph which should be one sentence, and this happens a few times. The following paragraph is then a little repetitive: ‘it became louder, growing in intensity’, although I liked ‘until it filled the emptiness around her’. We then go back in time to her childhood and realise that it was not a great time for her.

When the kidnapper talked about a $2 million ransom, I assumed that Roger, Sarah’s husband, was a highflying businessman, but there is only mention of his humanitarian work, which as far as I’m aware doesn’t pay very well and his profession is never explained, which is a shame.

Another great phrase was ‘The reply was accompanied by a dry chuckle that stirred the short hairs on the nape of her neck’, and poor puppy Ambrose (great name).

There is plenty of eeriness in this short story, as the cover and synopsis would imply, and the description of sounds was excellent.

There are quite a few typos, however, including Mrs Michaels having an’ after Michael (Michael’s) where it shouldn’t, a rogue e in ‘clothe’, and some missing punctuation and incorrectly placed punctuation, and required capitalisation in dialogue.


For many readers, this would be an uninterrupted enjoyable story but for some – myself included – it needed a sweep by an editor for a final polish, especially one who knows the rules of dialogue punctuation, and for that reason only, this story loses a point.

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,, 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

She also helps other authors with an inexpensive freelance editing and critiquing service, and welcomes, and actively helps to promote, guest authors on her blog – see opportunities.


If you would like to send me a book review, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

Related articles:

*** Breaking news! My online creative writing courses are currently just £1 or $1-2 each! ***

You can subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app via or Alternatively, you can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything (see right-hand vertical menu).

You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping Listvarious short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating. Thank you.

Morgen Bailey Cover montage 2I now run online courses – details on Courses – and for anyone looking for an editor, do take a look at Editing and Critique.

If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We'd love you to leave a comment, thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: