Dark yarns, Brit Grit, Country Noir, crime, horror, thriller and real western cowboy stories in this short story collection where every tale packs a mind-crunching punch.
A short story collection from Gareth Spark that I know I enjoyed, but which 3 weeks plus after reading I’m struggling to recall. I guess that the difference between stories and a novel, even with a crap one the chances are you’re going to remember something about plot, characters or setting.
So flicking back through on the kindle…….19 stories in all – and a bit of ground covered.
Crowbait ….excellent dark tale of the old west, with a heart-rending pay-off
Demon's Road…..the old west again,
The Yank ….London in the war, a Yank, gangsters, a girl, murder and a gun-fight
Blood Heart ….. She looked into the sun setting over my left shoulder, then back at me and smiled. She wore a white vest top that burned bright against dry thunder clouds lowering over the grassland behind her, and her blue eyes were open to the red heart of the sun's death; it danced over her skin, making her something at once golden and lost, something I knew I would remember forever.
Kin ……. card games, losers, family, poor decision-making
Rundown Dog ….haunting, bare knuckle fighting, an aftermath and consequences for family.
Snow, Sky and Pines …… a fractured family
One Bullet…… a gunfight down Mexico way
Five Feet Into The Grave ……..a fire, a girl, an enraged bar owner, and gunshots
Regal King Size ……. a couple of dudes, a girl, a guitar and some night visitors with a blade – a bit of a puzzle this one
Red Spanish Night …… a women uses her charms to rid herself of her husband
Ghosts ……….intriguing start….. I was sure Tommy had killed his Dad that morning, but I wasn't going to let that ruin our day; the old bastard probably deserved it more than anybody else knew.
The Black …… bouncers and bruises, some Middlesbrough mayhem and a bit more
Coming Through The Dark …… drugs, a car crash and family
American Tan …. a robbery goes wrong, the consequences
The Passeig Miramar ….. a doomed relationship
The Beach And Hot With It..... a troubled holiday
The Wild Hunt.... a strange girl, feuding neighbours, a stranger outcome
Hostile Powers..... a deadly virus, on the run, and hunted
Bone Creek .... Cheyenne Indians, a massacre, a reporter.

Spark has a gift for language. There's some poetic prose in this diverse collection. A few stories missed the mark (or more likely went over my head), but the vast majority were on-point, with a couple of stand-out stories - albeit after refreshing my memory - Rundown Dog and Bone Creek were my personal favourites. 
4.5 from 5
Gareth Spark is on Facebook here.
Read in April, 2017
Published - 2015
Page count - 128
Source - purchased copy
Format - Kindle

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