Saturday, December 3, 2011

Five You Can't Miss: R Thomas Brown

R Thomas Brown arrived on the crime scene earlier this year and since then he's been a busy fella. He reviews e-books at his blog, Criminal Thoughts, and writes Spinetingler Magazine's Short Thoughts on Short Fiction column. He's also a very fine writer, with two collections of e-books of short fiction available (Mayhem and Warnings) and a horror novella, Merciless Pact.  Here are five he doesn't want you to miss...

Silas' Good Run by Matthew C. Funk - - There is action, humor and wonderful descriptions of unsavory places, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for Silas. Not because of the life of crime and violence he had chosen, but because I doubt he'll find the peace he seeks in anything other than fleeting moments.

The Forest For The Trees by Thomas Pluck - - I felt for the young couple struggling to find their place, and particularly for Paulie as he fought against bigotry of many forms and handled himself with the kind of confidence and class you'd hope to see in someone. His affection feels genuine, which makes the ending hurt even more.

You Dirty Rat by Nigel Bird - found in the Speedloader collection from Snubnose Press - - I don’t know that I’ve read many WWI tales, or those inspired them. War stories just aren’t my normal cup of tea. But this one, with its personal take on war and its punchy description of fear, bravado and genuine bravery kept me in.

Melanie by Edward A. Grainger (David Cranmer) - found in The Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles - - In this touching story we see a different side of Cash. We see his sense of justice being at conflict with his duty, and how there are some things that push him out of the confines of his badge. This was, for me, the best of the stories, both because of the well drawn character of Melanie, but also for being the most rounded treatment of Cash due to his actions, but also his interactions with Melanie and Lenora.

Devlin, Me and Cherry B by Julie Morrigan - found in Gone Bad - - Wow, so much in here. Great characters. Really well-rounded, sympathetic and but despicable at the same time. A layered plot as well, giving emotion, action, confusion and resolution (sometimes false) as needed. And, within all that, is a tale that makes you think. Think about choices people make. Who they choose to be with, how they treat other people and why people do things they know are the bad choice. 


  1. I'm shocked and proud to be in the list. I love those others and am particularly chuffed to see us in agreement on one of them as we share picks - I'm not telling you which one, though.


  2. Thanks so much - and what great company to be in!


  3. Cherry B will stick (literally) with you for a long time. The ambiguous end for Dirty Rat was exactly what it had to be. Silas smoothes it's way into serious crazy without a hitch. Tom's story does not blink as it goes where it had to go. Hard as dogtrack donuts. Got Cash Laramie in my TBR pile. Thanks for pointing out the need for me to get to it faster. "Top Five" is one of my favorite annual things to read. Thanks Chris.

  4. Awesome to be on your list. It truly makes my year to be among such talent. Thanks for the blue ribbons and recommendations.