John Harvey

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Short Story Challenge – Ghosts by John Harvey from the collection The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 7

Published March 12, 2014 by bibliobeth

The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 7

What’s Ghosts all about?:

The must-have annual anthology for every crime fiction fan – the year’s top new British short stories selected by leading crime critic Maxim Jakubowski.This great annual covers the full range of mystery fiction, from noir and hardboiled crime to ingenious puzzles and amateur sleuthing. Packed with top names like Colin Dexter, Christopher Fowler, Alexander McCall Smith, Robert Barnard, Peter James, Natasha Cooper, Sophie Hannah, and many more.

Ghosts is a short story about an investigator called Jack Kiley who agrees to take on a case for a mother who wants to find her son’s killer.

What did I think?:

This is the second story in this collection of British Crime fiction, and is incredibly short – I think I read it in about five minutes or even less than that. It involves an investigator called Jack Kiley who we meet in his office mid-morning where he seems slightly bored and is awaiting business from the small advert he has placed in the local newspaper: Investigations: Private and Confidential. All kinds of security work undertaken. Ex Metropolitan Police. Just then, he receives his first potential client, Rita Barnes who is desperate to find her son’s killer. Kiley is familiar with the name and with the case, the young man Bradford Barnes had been on his way home from a party and had accidentally bumped into a young woman. Stopping to apologise, he had been set upon by a group of men with the women, one of them her boyfriend and been fatally stabbed. His killer had yet to be found and charged, although when Kiley speaks to his contacts at the police, they are well aware that the boyfriend of the girl, Jason Means was to blame but had been unable to pin anything on him forensically speaking and others including the girlfriend were keeping their mouths shut. Kiley accepts the case and doggedly works at it until he gets the required result.

Without actually telling the whole story, I can’t say much about it apart from that. It is surprisingly short as I mentioned, and in one way this can be a good thing if the story immediately grabs your attention and has a killer ending, but I felt a bit disappointed by the end of this one, as if I wanted slightly more. It almost seemed like a spin off story where a well known character is given his own short story for the pleasure of the fans of the series, but I couldn’t find any books by the author where Jack Kiley has appeared before. If anyone knows different, I’d be interested to know! Saying all this though, the writing was good, and I wouldn’t mind reading more by this author as someone who has never read his work before.

Would I recommend it?:

Not sure.

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

Challenge: Short Stories January to March

Published January 1, 2014 by bibliobeth

download (12)

Hello 2014! I absolutely loved my Short Stories Challenge which I started last year. I found lots of new authors, and a new found respect for short stories in general. So here we go again…..

Week beginning 6th January

The Blue Lenses by Daphne du Maurier from the collection The Breaking Point

Week beginning 13th January

Black Dust by Graham Joyce from the collection Tales for a Dark Evening

Week beginning 20th January

Clara and the Rat Man by Michel Faber from the collection The Apple: Crimson Petal Stories

Week beginning 27th January

Cold Cold Heart by Karin Slaughter (stand-alone)

Week beginning 3rd February

Come Rain or Come Shine by Kazuo Ishiguro from the collection Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall

Week beginning 10th February

Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint by Caitlin R. Kiernan from the collection A Book of Horrors

Week beginning 17th February

The Festival by H.P. Lovecraft from the collection The Definitive H.P. Lovecraft

Week beginning 24th February

Ghosts by John Harvey from the collection The Mammoth Book of  Best British Crime Volume 7

Week beginning 3rd March

When She Is Old and I Am Famous by Julie Orringer from the collection How to Breathe Underwater

Week beginning 10th March

The Student by Anton Chekhov from the collection Stories To Get You Through The Night

Week beginning 17th March

The Monkey by Stephen King from the collection Skeleton Crew

Week beginning 24th March

How We Avenged the Blums by Nathan Englander from the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

Week beginning 31st March

Of Mothers and Little People by Lucy Wood from the collection Diving Belles