January 13, 2011
REVIEW: ASKING FOR TROUBLE by Simon Wood
In Wood's newest collection of short crime fiction, ASKING FOR TROUBLE, he delivers eight stories built around the idea that a crime always begins with a decision -- the wrong decision. But not every bad decision is made by someone of a criminal bent. In Making Ends Meet, the bad decision arises when Richard, a very ordinary man, cannot face the idea of supporting his spendthrift, mooching in-laws for the rest of his life. But Richard cannot say no to his wife, so what's a guy to do? The character of Richard is so sympathetic, his in-laws so not, that the reader is impelled to support Richard's bad decisions. But bad decisions are called that for a reason. They have a way of rebounding upon the decision-maker.
Just how could wanting to turn one's life around, to get onto the straight and narrow, how could that be a bad thing? Just ask Matt, the protagonist of The Taskmasters. Matt has a tendency to get into bar brawls, and even he knows that if he continues down that path, the end won't be good. But The Taskmasters aren't your usual Twelve-Step group. They've got a unique spin on how to get your act together, and they make cults look like a good idea.
In The Hooker, a bridegroom and his best man turn one bad decision into a never-ending string of such, and the groom learns a lot about his darker nature along the way. Dinner for Toby offers a pretty good reason why experiencing everything at least once is an obsession to be avoided. And in A Gun in the House, when Leah decides that not even a persistent intruder can force her to move from her beautiful but isolated house, it becomes a decision that will cost her more than the house.
Simon Wood is an Anthony Award-winning author who is also a licensed pilot and a former racecar driver. ASKING FOR TROUBLE is available in ebook for only $2.49 USD from Smashwords.