Sunday, 24 October 2010

8 Pounds by Chris F. Holm

Unquestionably, Chris F. Holm can structure a story that pulls the reader in by creating a believable, everyday context, but just when you are wondering where he is going.....he kicks you right in the stomach. He'll then look down coolly at you, as you clutch your guts, eyes watering and sweat breaking out on your brow. Trying  to catch your breath, you mumble, "You didn't warn me that was going to happen!," and he'll laugh quietly, shake his head and just walk away, leaving you gasping at the side of the road. As you stare after him you'll be sure you hear him mumble, "Sucker," as he disappears down the road.

8 POUNDS: EIGHT TALES OF CRIME, HORROR, & SUSPENSE by Chris F. Holm is a Kindle collection of 8 short stories that can be downloaded for less than £1 in the UK or $1 in the US from Amazon. If you are not yet a Kindle or ereader convert then you can also download free Kindle software straight onto your computer or laptop. Holm's work has already been published in a variety of magazines from Beat to a Pulp and Thug Lit. He has  been a Derringer Award finalist and a Spinetingler Award winner, and has also written two novels: Dead Harvest and The Angels’ Share.

Each story in this collection has an individuality that provides variety to the reader from start to finish. If I had to choose a favourite from the collection then it would have to be the story chosen for the title of the collection: 8 Pounds. Two guys are in a bar discussing weird facts and figures as they probably have done all their lives. You know the kind of thing; the length of the longest crocodile in the Amazon or the largest octopus ever caught on a fishing boat. But these best friends discuss the weight of a human head - 8 pounds. One thing leads to another and it slowly becomes clear that one of the guys is having an affair with his best friend's wife. He wonders if his friend has found him out and in so doing chokes on his Laphroig single malt. Holm cleverly weaves the smokey peat aroma and smooth burn of the whisky into the spirit of the tale to enhance the anxiety of the adulterous friend. So does the talk of severed heads lead to a violent encounter? Well you'll have to read it yourself to find out...but it won't be what you think!

This collection works if you are looking for entertainment, suspense, unexpected endings and blood....yes, there's lots of blood! You will never get such a wonderful collection of gems again at such a bargain price, so what are you waiting for? Hit that button and download it now....sucker!


Paul D. Brazill said...

Sold me!

David Cranmer said...

Yep, count me in!

Chris said...

Wow. I sound kinda mean in this review, kicking people in the stomach and whatnot. But also kinda bad-ass, so I guess I'll take it!

Seriously, thanks so much for the kind review. 8 POUNDS was a labor of love, so the fact that folks are enjoying it makes all the work worthwhile.