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Twelve tales of mystery from the pen of best-selling author John Lutz, Shadows Everywhere collects much of the author's early work. You'll meet everyone from a “hardscrabble farm woman” to a volatile trucker with an explosive cargo, a cliff driver with dreams of gold, and women who are digging for it. Not every PI is a good guy, and not every villain gets his due. These tales twist and turn, surprise and entertain. Flowing from the imagination of a master story-teller, the stories in Shadows Everywhere are a classic glimpse into the worlds of a rare talent.
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When I think of author John Lutz. two things spring to mind - Single White Female and a series character of his called Fred Carver, neither of which I've actually gotten around to reading. I did love the film and could easily stand giving it a re-watch sometime. The Carver books I always liked the sound of, but for once common sense and restraint prevailed and I never actually filled my boots buying them. I crossed paths with one in a second hand shop a few years, bought it and then benched it.
This collection of short stories was enjoyed a month ago and while not totally forgotten, without reference to the blurb for the book I'd be scratching my head trying to recall any of them.
The collection comprises.....
Shadows Everywhere ....... a crooked PI, a marital investigation, a false report, some unforeseen consequences and a comeuppance
The Lemon Drink Queen..... a kidnapping, a trophy bride aka a caged bird, and a variation on the suicide by cop theme
A Rare Bird...... a bird-watcher, a corpse disposal, and an ill-thought out blackmail scheme
A Verdict of Death..... a missing woman, a murder trial without a corpse and an eventual license to kill
All of a Sudden..... an average cop, and an ill-advised alliance, a few good years and some chickens coming home to roost
Living All Alone..... a spinster temptress and a well fertilised orchard
Garden of Dreams..... a power cut, some dead plants and a maniacal gardener to contend with
Prospectus on Death..... karma, the power of suggestion, what goes around comes around
Fair Shake..... an upcoming trial, an endangered witness, and police protection
The Midnight Train..... pig farming on a budget
Hector Gomez Provides..... a Mexican cliff diving tale
Explosive Cargo..... a dodgy hitchhiker and a shady trucker cross paths
I liked the collection without ever being blown away by it. All of the stories had decent twists and most had resolutions which in hindsight kind of seemed obvious but as I wasn't especially trying to second guess them at all, I liked the elenent of surprise with the outcomes.
Favourites.......the title piece Shadows Everywhere and The Lemon Drink Queen.
Least enjoyed ....... Hector Gomez Provides.
Entertaining...... all the others.
A corrupt PI, dodgy cops, untrustworthy widows, wives and spinsters, cheating husbands, schemers, plotters, revenge, ambition, greed and just like real life, some outcomes where the villains prevail and a few where they get their just desserts.
4 from 5
John Lutz has been enjoyed before - The Truth of the Matter and The Eye which was co-authored with Bill Pronzini
Read - (listened to) August, 2020
Published - 1994
Page count - 123 (4 hrs 31 mins)
Source - Audible purchase
Format - Audible
SHADOWS EVERYWHERE BY JOHN LUTZ AND PAUL CHRISTY are a set of short stories with not so happy endings. Each story starts out predictably, but in the end leaves the listener scratching their heads with wonderment.
I just recently got hooked on John Lutz's stories and SHADOWS EVERYWHERE is just another of what I deem to be a re-reader or in this case a re-listener! Paul Christy, the narrator,does an excellent job in bringing the stories to life!
I recieved this audiobook free in exchange for a honest review.
- Susan Patterson
Lots of interesting stories
John Lutz holds his audience with his well-written short stories.
Paul Christy does a great job narrating.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
- Ellen Oceanside
His early work, some you like better than others, but all enjoyable, with the narration by Christy.Given audio for my voluntary review