I’ve been busy. The good kind of busy—writing and submitting shorts, revising a novella. But I thought I’d take a minute to recommend three short story collections you should own.
SLEEPWALKING, by Ray Nayler
When I started to read crime fiction online, I encountered the work of Ray Nayler. Haunting. Timeless. How I felt it should be done. Ray’s stories first drove me to submit my own work online. He is the author of the novel American Graveyards, has had stories in a variety of magazines, including Ellery Queen, Cemetary Dance, Crimewave, Handheld Crime, Blue Murder, and hand-printed a few volumes of his stories that I treasure. “Man in the Dark” and “The Bat House” both received the honor of Distinguished Mystery Story in Best American Mystery Stories.
WATCH YOU DROWN, by Chris Rhatigan
Watch You Drown is an excellent book of noir shorts and flash fiction. Told in a unique, compelling voice that rings true throughout. Stories often end on notes that cause you to explore the implications of what you’ve read. The flash pieces, which read like poetry, are no less thought-provoking. It’s that good. And it’s free. Download it, already.
Chris is the author of the novella The Kind of Friends Who Murder Each Other and edits All Due Respect and Pulp Ink, which was shortlisted for a Spinetingler Award.
BAD TIMES, by Julie Morrigan
Bad Times is comprised of three previous collections by Julie: Gone Bad, Show No Mercy and Wired. Wired was my introduction to Julie’s work and grabbed me by the literary collar. Her Byker Books novella, Cutter’s Deal, furthered my admiration. Morrigan’s writing is like Charlie Watts’ drumming: no need to flail around and toss sticks through the air, when you can lay down such a tight, badass and irresistible groove. In addition to having short stories all over the place, Julie is the author of the novels Heartbreaker, Convictions (voted as one of the top five books of the year by crime and thriller fans at the Crime Fiction Lover website) and Darke: The Devil, The Magician and The Fool.