Nothing Good Happens After Midnight, Jeffrey Deaver (editor)

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Jeffrey Deaver (editor), and Suspense Publishing for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

I have always found that you can discover the true mettle of an author by how well they can handle writing with strict parameters. Jeffrey Deaver tosses the challenge out to twelve other authors (as well as himself) to pen a short story apiece with a ‘late’ or ‘midnight’ theme. Each entry in this collection differs greatly from one another, with a stellar collection of published authors offering something for the reader to enjoy. A great collection of pieces that read with ease, perfect for those who are familiar with the authors or enjoy something a little shorter.

There is such a great cross-section of ideas in this collection that each reader will surely find something to their liking. Some will likely flock to Alan Jacobson’s piece about a death row inmate who may have some key information about a copycat. Others will enjoy Kevin O’Brien’s recounting of a man who hates technology, while still others may find the antics of Linwood Barclay’s piece about a graveyard shift at a newspaper something that tickles their fancy. Each piece is unique and entertaining in its own way and Deaver ensures there is no repetition at all. Quick reads on their own or a decent binge of shorter writing for those who wish to indulge. Whatever your fancy, watch out, as you’ll surely be sucked in, much like some of the characters in Deaver’s own entry in this collection.

The short story allows little time for character development, even if it is an offshoot of a series some will know well. Jeffrey Deaver does well at finding some wonderful contributors whose styles and abilities are surely second to none. Each story contains some strong characters, a few who are part of a larger series, others dreamt up for their debut in these pages. At approximately the same length, each story used plots and developments effectively, though uniquely, begging the reader to choose some of their favourites. With some strong writing overall, this is a collection not to be missed and I would love to see more of this in the future, as I know Jeffrey Deaver has created some wonderful and witty writing projects for many in the genre before.

Kudos, Mr. Deaver and your twelve other contributors, for a great collection of stories that really get to the heart of the midnight hour.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: