Sunday, 22 July 2018


Unloaded 2 (US) provides a feast of reading in the form of a nicely weighted collection of short stories. 

In turn we visit:

a forgery story and a boy who saves Christmas.

a primate escaping from the zoo who spots a hedge cutter and fantasises about chopping off the mean giraffe's tail.

an abused wife whose husband likes to soak in bubbles.

a boxer reflecting on scam in a casino and a hooker who hits hard.

a brother who likes to play hide-and-seek can never be forgotten.

the search for a missing cat which reveals more than fur and paws.

money collectors.

revenge and tattoos.

a baby needing a new home.

prison killings.

the mystery of a soccer team's suicides. 

the writer who gives robots their personalities. 

a father attempting to reconnect with his disabled son.

a truly amazing disappearing trick.

a first night as a punk rocker.

a man and his lover waiting for her husband to come home.

a lighthouse with a gruesome past.

a restaurant critic serving up a meal of his own.

a cop straying from the straight and narrow.

a prison nightmare with remote control planes.

and, finally, a story with guns. 

The range of styles and voices is broad, but they have in common quality writing and the ability to forge a world within only a few pages. 

As with any anthology, I have my own favourites, but I think it would do you no favours to name them here. Instead, I'd urge you to read this yourself and pick your own. And if you really want my faves, you can always ask (one or two picks might surprise). 

My guarantee is that you're in for a treat with this collection. There are some great twists and turns, some really powerful emotions, genuinely nail-biting journeys and enough swift blows to keep you interested throughout.

The final piece underlines why gun law needs to be seriously re-considered. It's a work of non-fiction that ties the project up perfectly. 

Unloaded 2 proves beyond doubt that guns aren't necessary to create amazing crime fiction. It delivers enough of the starters, the main courses, desserts and drinks for even the most voracious reader to have their fill. 

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