Here's another Take Two Review. Stacie and I both lucked into ARCs of "Top Suspense." She read hers right off the bat and I left mine until the deadline (cough). Still, making good on the promise to review it, I read the collection of stories over the past few days and now have a review to post.
First Reviewed on Word Nerd: April 12, 2011
Bethany's Take: I liked many of the stories in this collection, but I got hung-up on the title -- I think it promises a different kind of story than what's actually in the book. I think "Top Noir" would have been better with all the dark turns that every story seemed to take. But suspense... I'm not so sure. Maybe my definition of suspense is just different.
Though it would give it away, a great title might be "Come Uppance" because that's a common theme among all the stories. Many of the protagonists are bad guys to start with, or people who think that they are somehow above the law or smarter than the cops. Of course, in the course of committing a crime (mostly murder) they make a fatal mistake and get their come-uppance for the wrongs they've done. This was so prevalent in the stories that about halfway through the book, I started looking for it and trying to figure out how that plot twist was going to work.
The best story in the collection was "Remaindered" by Lee Goldberg. Goldberg tells the story of a washed-up author who's desperate to create buzz about his latest book. I can't say more without giving away plot (heck, we're talking short story here) but I thoroughly enjoyed this one the most of the whole book.
The e-book is on sale for $.99 for the first two weeks of May. For less than a cup of Starbucks, you might as well pick up this read if you like mystery stories.