Killer Eulogy and Other Stories by Warren Bull

KILLER
Killer Eulogy and Other Stories by Warren Bull
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Short Story (61 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewer: Astilbe

One definition of noir is “no happy endings.” In this short story collection by award-winning author, Warren Bull, don’t expect any last-minute reprieves – it isn’t going to happen. Dark desires spiral inexorably down toward disaster. Bad choices lead to dangerous consequences, and a sucker never gets an even break.

A clergyman chosen to speak on behalf of the dead is accused of murder. An author trying to make a name for herself attracts the attention of a stalker. A police detective investigating a series of seemingly unrelated murders finds an appalling and very personal link between the crimes.

How fast can karma run? Is blind justice always a good thing?

This collection is best summed up by this quote from it: “You never actually complete a story. You just stop writing.” What intrigued me the most about these stories is how many twists and turns are packed into each one and how much I wished I could read more about certain characters.

Mr. Bull’s writing shines in sharp, unforgettable tales like Killer Eulogy and The Note. No sooner did I think I had everything figured out than the author casually dropped exposition into the narrative that completely dismantled my theories about what was actually happening. It’s difficult to discuss their plots without spoiling them, but Killer Eulogy is about a jealous reverend who suspects that one of the other pastors in her community is killing his parishioners. “The Note” is about a simple pickpocketing scheme that has unexpected consequences for the narrator. I’d highly recommend skipping ahead to read these stories first in order to see what Mr. Bull is like at his best.

On the Edge and Salvage were more difficult for me to understand. Their premises were intriguing, but the unexpected jokes in the former made it seem a little out of place in such a dark anthology. An influx of extraneous characters in the latter made it difficult for me to keep everyone straight, especially when new people were introduced right before the climax.

The rest of the stories in this collection more than make up for the two that didn’t particularly speak to me, though. Mr. Bull is a master at introducing the reader to a wholly ordinary series of events, allowing the plot to pick up momentum, and then casually revealing what is actually going on. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Killer Eulogy and Other Stories is full of surprises. This is a good choice for readers who like mysteries that can’t be easily unravelled. I read this genre regularly and yet was still surprised by several of the tales in this collection.

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for the review.

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