Review - Crime Scenes Stories, Zane Lovitt (editor)
Taking a central theme of "is there really such a thing as an innocent person?" and asking a combination of well known and emerging Crime Fiction Writers from Australia to address the question, has culminated in the creation of CRIME SCENES - a short story collection which works on a number of levels.
Short story collections like this provide a reader with glimpses into an author's style and voice, sometimes presenting something very different from known series books or previous works. In the case of previously known authors, this can confirm a liking for their work, or when the author is established but new to any reader, the potential of a whole new body of work to explore is opened. When you combine that with new or emerging authors, then you add anticipation of bigger things to come, or at the very least a bit of a quest for other short story works and collections.
On the central question, the range of treatments across the stories is broad. From an exploration of innocence itself, right through to whether or not we all, ultimately, get what we deserve is explored from a number of different viewpoints, in a range of different cultural and societal settings. From unexpected plot twists, to character variances, each of these stories takes the central question and approaches it in a manner that's sometimes serious, sometimes quirky, but most of all thought-provoking. Of marked interest is the way the voices and style of a number of the more established authors varies from their previous writing - particularly when they are known for a specific series.
It's also a collection that combines dark and light, serious and funny, across and within individual stories. There's an art to writing short stories which seems to be often under-estimated, but it's illustrated beautifully in CRIME SCENES. There's also an art to selecting and combining stories - much in the same way as you'd imagine the selection and order of tracks on an album might work. There is a distinct storytelling arc in this collection which serves the question posed beautifully, and there is sufficient variety in the interpretations to create instant favourites for a wide range of crime fiction readers. (Out in March 2016 - honestly worth queuing for - or at least pre-ordering from the link above!)
Is there really such a thing as an innocent person?
Teachers, cops, mothers, wives, everyone has their breaking point; that moment where it could go either way. From the prostitute with no way out, to the bitter author, and a cop who just wants his leave, the characters in this collection will baffle and bewilder you at every turn.
Features stories from emerging Australian crime writers Amanda O'Callaghan, Eddy Burger, Melanie Napthine and Michael Caleb Tasker alongside award-winning authors Angela Savage, Peter Corris, Leigh Redhead, Andrew Nette, David Whish-Wilson, P.M. Newton, Carmel Bird and Tony Birch.