I picked up this book to read expecting a short book of short stories. Well, all I can say is that this was a mammoth book of short stories, I counted twenty-one in all, although there were so many I wouldn’t be surprised if the number exceeded that. So, at the selling price of £2.05 for the Kindle version, this must be the bargain of the year.
So how do I do justice to this number of short stories in a review, there are far too many to comment on individually so I’m afraid I’m going to be generalistic here.
There was an eclectic mix of stories, a fair amount of crime, which you would expect from a crime writer of Kirton’s stature. But there were also humorous stories, and for those of you who have not read Kirton’s humour, it can be quite satiric and at times ridiculous. But there were also a few love stories, which surprised me, and some which just dealt with human nature.
In the crime category, I really liked Death Ship. This was a historic piece set on a sailing ship which is making a voyage between Norway and Aberdeen, and in the course of the voyage there are several particularly gruesome deaths. However I liked the atmosphere of this one as well as the writing and the content. I almost believed I was on board the vessel, being tossed about by the stormy seas, and in fear for my life.
There was a bit of fantasy in some of the stories as well, and I liked Eliminating Heat, where a man telepaths into birds and finally into a fly. He nurses murderous thoughts against his wife and uses these powers to facilitate her demise. I won’t tell you any more but just let’s say this is a sory of comeuppance.
Then there is the love and lust in The Lovers of Wensleydale, and Doris from the cheese counter in the supermarket, becomes the glamorous and sensuous Letitia.
Apart from the ingenuity of the stories there was also some beautiful writing in these short stories, and I particularly liked An Orkney Parisienne, which I thought was a lovely piece of writing with atmospheric descriptions. This one was more philosophical than plot driven.
I could go on and on but I think I will wrap this review up here and just say that I enjoyed the majority of these stories, and if you like short stories you could do a lot worse than dip into this book.
Other People is available in Kindle format
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