Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Storm Warning - free!



 "...Half of the stories are tight slices of storytelling, glancing into lives that are haunted or marred by “something not quite right.” The very first story, “Storm Warning” and later with “The Righteous Ones” treat the reader to that queasy feeling of dread that crime fiction lovers long to feel. It immediately reminded me of the work of Dan Chaon’s short stories, Stay Awake, whose imagery also stayed with me late into the night. I would lay awake restlessly wondering if there was really maliciousness in a person’s face or whether it was a projection of guilt or just a passing shadow which could have explained away and avoided a gruesome fate. Was Shirley’s husband aware of her suspicious activities or was it just the air of tension in a community preparing for a coming storm? “Storm Warning” offers a look into the lengths one may go to pursue a dream while “The Righteous Ones” has an unnerving tale of a man’s missionary service gone awry.
"The other half of the stories are a bit fuller, extended works with fleshier stories that are character driven. “Collision” features a pair of brothers,  facing a last resort attempt to leave the island for America. The brothers are juxtaposed with a young man, Rufus, whose life is just beginning to stabilize with his girlfriend. The three men are tied together through drugs and violence (which could be construed as a tired trope) but O’Neal has mostly separated the two issues, leading to some refreshingly organized and calm scenes involving the trading of goods. The drugs cannot be blamed for all of the violence and we’re left wondering what truly constitutes the mettle of these men. Rufus’ story reminded me strongly of moments from Junot Diaz’s This Is How You Lose Her, where the lead character is extremely hard to cheer for, but you feel greater empathy for this flawed man..."

For more, go to Racialicious.