Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Top Suspense

Goodreads Summary:
Hold on tight for a literary thrill-ride into the wickedly clever, frightening, and exhilarating world of Top Suspense, a sizzling collaboration of twelve master storytellers at the peak of their powers in thirteen unforgettable tales. This pulse-pounding anthology - packed full of cold-blooded killers, erotic tension, shady private eyes, craven drug dealers, vicious betrayals, crafty thieves, and shocking twists - is only a taste of the thrills you will find in the breathtakingly original ebooks by these authors at So sit back, bite down on a piece of strong leather, and prepare to get hit by some gale-force suspense and writing so sharp it will draw blood.

My Review:
Overall this was a really great collection. Usually with compilations like this I get bored or feel the need to break it up with a novel after a few stories. With this one I read it all the way through and could have read more. The stories were in a good order, I think, and were all well written and interesting. They are thrillers but were very much in the spirit of noir in my opinion.

Stories in the order they appear:

-Unreasonable Doubt by Max Allan Collins
This is a story about a detective who is hired to follow an important woman in his life. It's by one of my favorite authors and has a very surprise ending.

-Death’s Brother by Bill Crider
What would you do for a woman you loved? What about just a really hot chick? This is a great story in a classic noir fashion...with a twist.

-Poisoned by Stephen Gallagher
A very creepy childhood story...

-Remaindered by Lee Goldberg
By far my favorite story. There is dialog in this one that I will probably always remember and even though it was a thriller, it was also laugh out loud funny.
This is about a man who was once on the bestseller list and as his career tanks he ends up on the remaindered table and doing book signings in K-Mart. However, he does still have a fan...

-Fire in the Sky by Joel Goldman
A great story about a small town, with a twist, of course.

-The Baby Store by Ed Gorman
This is such a great tale about genetically engineered babies being the norm. The ending is disturbing in the way it really holds up a mirror to humanity and what we are all capable of.

-The Jade Elephant by Libby Fischer Hellmann
A story about two burglars and a pawn shop...need I say more?

-The Big O by Vicki Hendricks
Wow, this is a story about one horny gal who is trailer park trash looking out for her baby, and definitely herself. The writing is sharp and the main character is well developed, even though the author only has the length of the short story to do so.

-The Chirashi Covenant by Naomi Hirahara
A not so typical Japanese woman wanting something more from life.

-El Valiente en el Infierno by Paul Levine
This story was fast paced and kept me on edge. In the end I actually found it to be touching and nicely done. It's about border crossers and the vigilante's they encounter.

-A Handful of Dust by Harry Shannon
An amazing story about a contract killer.

-The Canary by Dave Zeltserman
Sometimes a painting is worth more than its street value...

-The Chase by Top Suspense Group
This one was done in a round robin manner and as expected, it came out quite differently than the others. I liked that it had a high level of sexual tension and yet was the first story to include a crime boss.
4/5 stars