13 Shots of Noir
Paul D. Brazill
Untreed Reads Publishing
What short stories catch your attention? Which stories stay with you?
Authors who tend to shock and surprise the reader are well-respected with a following of loyal readers who might not actually enjoy the content, but truly appreciate the surprise in these unpredictable tales. Legendary writers and editors in this category include Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone", Roald Dahl, Falkner, O'Henry and Edgar Allan Poe. These writers of darkness make us uneasy even when we appreciate their creative gifts.
13 Shots of Noir by Paul D. Brazill is definitely one of these uneasy, uncomfortable collections of short stories. Each one involves a crime and a cover-up with an ending most of us could or would not predict. These are not tales of justice, but tales of irony.
What excels in this collection is the imagery in each very short tale. You can easily visualize each event as the story unfolds, complete with the blood and gore. These stories excel is sensory details. These senses of sound and smell create a story much darker and sinister.
The first story, "The Tut" was nominated for the 2010 Spinetingler Award. The tale revolves around Oliver Robinson who has been married for forty-five years. He is sick and tired of his wife's "tut" whenever she is unhappy with him. She sighs and "tuts". She scolds him and "tuts". Reminiscent of Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart", he becomes obsessed with this "tut". Read the story to find out the rest of this story.
The other twelve stories are similar but still completely unpredictable. Each unique and engrossing even though sometimes, you don't want to know the rest of the story. However, you need to finish and ponder after each one.
Each story has the reader focused in one direction when suddenly the story switches gears. This sharp turn is logical but at the same time, shocking. These stories are addictive.
Paul D. Brazill was born in England and currently resides in Poland. He continues to write as well as translate many written works.
13 Shots of Noir is a quick read but one that continues to ponder long after each story.