Saturday, 20 October 2012


John Kenyon is a classy writer.

In ‘The First Cut’ (US), he offers a collection of stories that is a pleasure to read.

One of the features of his work is the ability to plant a seed in a reader’s mind and then chop down the plant as soon as it appears so that another seed can take its place.  There were times when I thought I had outsmarted the author and knew where a piece was going, only to find that it was Mr Kenyon who had the upper hand every time.  This kind of loop-the-loop is a lot of fun to be part of.

Another feature is his ability to create a story in an unusual setting – there are lots of tangents from the ordinary here to enjoy.

This collection might also offer a number of tips to the reader, should they ever find themselves in a tight spot, a kind of self-help book for the criminal:

how to bury a body the right way.

how to deliver the perfect Christmas gift to your child when you’re short of cash.

how to ease your conscience after a hit.

why a little-white lie might serve better than a full confession.

how to keep out subliminal messages and maintain self-control.

My favourite in the collection is the opener, a story about a hit-man who has grown to resent Quentin Tarantino movies and who becomes linked in with organ-donation in a rather macabre fashion.

I'd also like to point you in the direction of Grimm Tales, published by Untreed Reads.  It's a really great anthology that John put together through his site 'TIRBD'.  There's a foreward in there from Ken Bruen, who sells it far better than I might.  Check it out.