Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Review: You Are Here by Joe Boland

You Are Here
by Joe Boland
Anthology of short stories, fiction, noir, murder and thriller
Ramsfield Press, 2013

“You Are Here” Synopsis

The Romville Stories in You Are Here by Joe Boland combine universal insights into human character, humor, and a distinctive, noir writing style that pulls you in and keeps you reading even when you want to turn out the light and go to sleep.

A short passage from “This Story”, the first in the collection, shows Mr. Boland’s wit and style:
Her name was Mora. I misspelled it “Maura” in my first Valentine’s Day card to her resulting in a huge fight, which should have clued me in to her temperament a little bit at least. But being in love is kind of like spraying yourself in the eyes with Mace in that it hurts a lot and impairs your vision badly. And it ain’t cheap either. I met her in church (which just goes to show you there is no place free from peril) at my cousin’s wedding. She was sort of a friend of the bride’s sister-in-law’s brother or some such thing. I wound up dancing with her a bunch of times and she smiled and smiled till her face inhabited my mind the way a needletip burns itself into a junkie’s skin.

My Review

Writing short stories is a special art. You have a limited amount of space to capture the reader's attention, throw in a fascinating plot and then exit leaving everyone fulfilled with the characters and events. It's always exciting to come across an author who succeeds in all of the above.

Joe Boland's You Are Here is a collection of tales that I found to be a wonderful mix of sensational writing and with gritty material lingering about. The subject matter was dark, but inviting. The characters were well developed, and the plots were intriguing.

If you enjoy thrilling stories, then do yourself a favor and check out Boland's quality writing in You Are Here.

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