The summer after I graduated from college, I worked as an interpreter/aide for pre-school age Deaf children in the morning than taught a class of four-year-olds at a daycare in the afternoon. Yes, this is proof you are INSANE in college because large groups of little kids are definitely not my thing! Hence, me spending the next eighteen years dealing with surly, teenagers. I'll take a back-talking, full-of-attitude, I-hate-you teen over a tiny human who can't tell me why they're crying any day! But, I digress.
That summer I lived 45 miles from where I was working and had a two-hour break between jobs without anywhere particular to go. I spent much of that time at the library, reading collections of short stories.
I am the type of reader who wants to finish the book in one sitting. I will set a book aside and go do real-life stuff (because others make me) but I don't like it.
That's why this book was PERFECT for me! First, it is an anthology produced by International Thriller Writers (an association founded and governed by some of the best writers EVER). Second, it took several of my absolute favorite authors, paired them up by gender (each team had a male and female author) and tasked them with creating an original short story using their iconic characters. It's like the best type of crossover you can imagine.
This book renewed my love for short stories. I found some new authors that I can't wait to check out more from and snuggled in with some old favorites. I loved the premise of having characters from well-known series interact. I also enjoyed the introduction to each story that described the writing style of the individual authors as well as gave insight to the process the team used to create the story.
All of the stories are clearly well-written and each brings a unique twist.
My absolute favorite was Short Story by Karin Slaughter and Michael Koryta. The plot was intriguing but while I was clicking as fast as I could to see how it would unfold, I was laughing at characters' introspection and banter. I loved the mix of mystery and humor.
I would whole-heartedly recommend this collection for anyone who loves thrillers, suspense, and or just a good mystery.