Given the range of story ideas in this collection, it’s easy to see why David Barber chose the title ‘From A Crowded Mind’ (US). His head must be buzzing.
Each piece is solidly put together and oozes darkness.
My favourite has a man and wife in conversation in a car parked at a loch-side. It’s confession time and it’s the kind of moment that would make anyone feel uncomfortable. As with all the stories, there’s a significant twist; in this one, it comes gently and was entirely unexpected.
There is a slight drawback to having so many twist-in-the-tale pieces together (though avid fans of the unexpected will have a feast on this one) which is that one begins to look for the catch. This can mean that the eye is taken from the set-up and puts a weight of responsibility on to the surprise. My suggestion is that to get the most from this collection, it might be best to read it amidst other books so that the stings will be fresh and painful every time you come across them. Keep those endings camouflaged until the last moment.
That said this is a very entertaining collection, one that brought me a fair amount of pleasure. I’ll make certain I’m back for Volume 2 when it arrives.