Thursday, 21 March 2013

Book Review: Storm Warning - Eugenia O'Neal

I received an ARC of Storm Warning by Eugenia O'Neal in exchange for a review.  This is a new collection of short stories soon to be released.

The stories are set in or around St Crescens, a fictitious island around the British Virgin Islands.  One of the common themes running through the book is the connection to the USA, whether islanders wish to emigrate there or some other connection.

There are five stories in the book.  The first Collision, is about drug trafficking where two sets of traffickers from different countries unexpectedly meet.  The second story Storm Warning (also the title of the book)  tackles preparations for an oncoming hurricane and centres around the lives of a young couple.  Face-down is the third story which is a series of statements to the police recording the whereabouts of each potential suspect around a crime scene. Story four, The Righteous Ones, is about evangelism in the extreme, where a minister and his family sail to St Crescens on a mission to put right the wrongdoings of the inhabitants.  The final and in my opinion the best short story in the series is titled The Dead Bishop.  This story tackles paedophilia and the church.

They are all good stories in their own right but the last in the book is the story which will be remembered for its content, being topical and controversial.  Having said that all the stories are topical and newsworthy.

Last year I read and reviewed Jessamine by this same author and these stories are quite different which shows Eugenia's versatility as a writer.  I am not huge on short stories and would not normally buy a collection.  However, when you find a readable collection like Storm Warning they are worth it.  Do look out for these when this book hits the shelves.  When I do find a good collection I love the fact that you can dip in and out without worrying where you left off.  Read a story each week, day, month or all in one go like me.  3*

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