Blast from the past… ***
This novella reminds me of the old Mickey Spillane books where he introduced Mike Hammer to the world or maybe Erle Stanley Gardner and his Perry Mason series. Short vignettes that capture the essence of a character without going too deep. Short reads that are light entertainment.
While this style is the intended genre for the author, and for which I would give five stars, I feel as though this was an outline for an even better book that was never fleshed out. There is so much more I would like to know about each of the characters and even the setting of Seatown.
Brazill is a an excellent writer and I would be the first in line for a full blown version of this story, Tommy Bennett has the potential of being as good a character as Mike Hammer or better yet, Ray Donovan.
In the mean time this one gets three stars.
Back to five stars….. *****
Sadly, I have given one star reviews to the last few books by Stephen King. Thankfully, in this new book he is back to being the master story-teller we have come to love. King has an extraordinary ability to create characters that you care about and can relate to along with stories that draw you in and hold you. He accomplishes both in this collection of short stories, which are really novellas.
I would recommend reading The Outsider prior to this book, to fully grasp the character of Holly Gibney, and if you have only seen the television version you may have trouble seeing her, as in all of her appearances in King novels, as white. Even knowing this I could not help but imagine Cynthia Erivo as Holly as I read the story If It Bleeds.
As a writer, I really enjoyed the story, The Rat, and the struggles that the main character, Drew Larson, has with writing a novel. The story is as much about good writing as it is about Drew’s encounter with the rat.
Thank you Mr. King for getting back on track and writing a book worthy of your talent.
This one gets five stars and to Mr. King I say, rat on.