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.
Bobo by Richard Schiver
Synopsis: 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 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bobo-Richard-Schiver-ebook/dp/B00727UILU and http://www.amazon.com/Bobo-Richard-Schiver-ebook/dp/B00727UILU.
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, 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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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.