Reading a book of collected short stories is much different than reading a novel. Some people don’t like short stories because they don’t get all the character development and plot twists that are the essence of a great novel. But the way that Mr. Deaver thinks about short stories, which is distilling an idea down to the essential elements of plot, a few characters, with the major plot twist at the end of the story, is exactly the type of short story that I like to read.
I have always enjoyed reading short story collections. I have read many of the “Best of the Year” type collections, both in the mystery and science fiction genres, since I was a teenager back in the sixties. It seemed that there were many more quality short stories being written back then. A lot of mainstream magazines would publish a couple short stories in each issue, but all of those outlets are gone now. There still are some genre specific magazines out there, but who reads them? I know that I don’t purchase printed magazines anymore. I am more likely to listen to a podcast than read a magazine, so story collections like this are the main opportunity to read some great short fiction.
This is Mr. Deaver at his finest. He has collected 12 great stories in this volume. Six of the stories are new, which means that you may have read some of the stories already, but that happens with any collection of stories. Most of the time the stories are worth re-reading anyway. There wasn’t a stinker in the group. If you are a fan of Mr. Deaver’s series books, you will be happy to hear that there are stories in here that include characters from all three of them. The non-series stories allow Mr. Deaver a bit more freedom. He gets to push the boundaries, to go a little outside of the normal genre limits that contain him in his series novels. I like that. I have wanted to read his Twisted collections, and now I have to put them on my “Books To Read” list.
I give Trouble in Mind 4 1/2 Stars out of 5 and a Big Thumbs Up! Anyone who enjoys reading short fiction will like this collection.
I received this Digital Review Copy for free from NetGalley.com.
Release date: March 4, 2014
Fiendish suspense. Shocking twists.
Twelve diabolical tales.
New York Times bestselling author and highly acclaimed storyteller Jeffery Deaver-the undisputed “grand master of the plot twist” (Booklist)-returns with a dazzling new collection of short stories. In these twelve electrifying tales (including six written just for this anthology) Deaver proves once again his genius for the unexpected-in his world, appearances are always deceiving.
A devoted housekeeper embarks on a quest to find the truth behind her employer’s murder. A washed-up Hollywood actor gets one last, high-stakes chance to revive his career. A man makes an impulsive visit to his hometown, and learns more about his past than he bargained for. Two Olympic track hopefuls receive terrorist threats. And Deaver’s beloved series characters Lincoln Rhyme, Kathryn Dance, and John Pellam return in stories now in print for the first time.
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 4, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
About the Author
Jeffery Deaver was born outside of Chicago in 1950. His father was an advertising copywriter and his mother was a homemaker. He has one younger sister who writes novels for teenagers ‘ Julie Reece Deaver.
Deaver wrote his first book ‘ which consisted of two entire chapters ‘ when he was eleven, and he’s been writing ever since. An award-winning poet and journalist, he has also written and performed his own songs around the country. After receiving a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Deaver worked as a magazine writer, then, to gain the background needed to become a legal correspondent for The New York Times or Wall Street Journal, he enrolled at Fordham Law School. After graduation he decided to practice law for a time and worked for several years as an attorney for a large Wall Street firm. It was during his long commute to and from the office that he began writing the type of fiction he enjoyed reading: suspense novels. In 1990 he started to write full time.
The author of twenty-two novels, Deaver has been nominated for six Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony award, a Gumshoe Award, and is a three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader’s Award for Best Short Story of the Year. In 2001, he won the W.H. Smith Thumping Good Read Award for his Lincoln Rhyme novel The Empty Chair. In 2004, he was awarded the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for Garden Of Beasts and the Short Story Dagger for “The Weekender.” Translated into 35 languages, his novels have appeared on a number of bestseller lists around the world, including the New York Times, the London Times and the Los Angeles Times. The Bone Collector was a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington as Lincoln Rhyme. A Maiden’s Grave was made into an HBO film retitled Dead Silence, starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin.
Jeff has also released two collections of his short stories, called Twisted and More Twisted.
The book description is from Amazon. Trouble in Mind: The Collected Stories, Volume 3