ASIN #: B007Q1MKUY
File Size: 249 KB
Page Count: 117
Copyright: March 29, 2012
Publisher: Archer & Clark Publishing
(Taken from author's website)
Can you imagine a mystery being created and solved in 100 words? That's the purpose of Cops, Crooks & Other Stories in 100 Words, a new, short ebook of flash fiction. The book contains mini mysteries, mini puzzles with satisfying, unexpected endings.
Seven stories in this collection have been published recently in five different fiction magazines: Stymie Magazine, MicroHorror, 100-Word Story, Flashshot and 101 Words. Most stories contain a protagonist, a challenge and a resolution.
A woman makes a daring escape after robbing a bank - with help from a passing cop. Two con men run into each other again - with unusual results - when they're both working the same resort hotel. A detective sergeant surprises his inspector by solving a murder at a snowed-in manor. These are some of the seemingly complex stories begun and resolved in exactly 100 words.
Flash fiction is, according to Wikipedia, "a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity." The author went for the second option, offering up 101 (with bonus) blink-and-you-miss-it tales, mostly related to crime. They kind of remind me of brain teasers, like the famous one where the father and son are in a car crash, the doctor walks in to the E.R. to operate on the son and says, "I can't do this, he's my son?" And, of course, the doctor is his mother. These stories often have a twist at the end similar to that where you should have seen it coming. Some I had to read twice just to make sure I understood the twist or to look back and see how I missed the obvious ending. It could be one word that gives it all away, or a final sentence that delivers the punch.
I would describe this as "bathroom reading" and I don't mean that in a negative way - this is a collection that you pick up when you literally have a couple of minutes to read. I got through the whole collection in probably a couple of hours, maybe less, but I read it in several short spurts.
Most of these are cleverly thought out but a couple were groaners at the end. Mark Bacon obviously is a seasoned writer and with only 100 words to tell the story, these are edited with precision. For a taste of this genre, and for something light and quick, I'd wholeheartedly recommend this quirky collection of stories.