Thursday, April 21, 2011
REVIEW: "Unsavory Delicacies" by Russell Brooks
This little collection of short stories by Russell Brooks makes for a satisfying and quick read. Nicely written and engaging throughout, these stories bundle intrigue and entertainment with interesting characters and fast-paced plots. The writing style is such that it's easy to lose yourself in the action.
Crème brûlée- Arms dealer Monique Beauvais gets the surprise of a lifetime when the tables are turned after a specially planned luncheon. Although told in third person, we are privy to Monique's thoughts. That gives us a nice perspective on the events and makes the ending all that much more satisfying. Offering a nice twist and just enough context to get you into the story, this is a tasty treat.
To the Last Bite- A restaurant critic experiences the meal of his dreams... or is it? The restaurant business may not be all that he thought it was. Slightly predictable, but still well-crafted with a few surprises to spare, this is a fun story. I particularly like the details that helped us to understand the critic and his motivations. I loved this title the best, and this story was also my favorite of the bunch.
Shashlyk and Morozhenoe- CIA operatives find a little more than they bargained for when they arrange a sting. I had to read this ending a few times to really understand what happened. This story left me a little cold. It wasn't nearly as engaging as the previous two stories, and I never really had that "oh wow" moment that I got with the others. Although the first two stories are set up perfectly as short stories, this third one felt more like an introductory teaser chapter in a novel or novella. It wasn't as satisfying as an ending, but would be intriguing as an introduction.
Altogether a nicely written and entertaining collection!
4 /5 stars
Available at Smashwords, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
(Also available at Amazon UK and XinXii)