Review

Sinister Shorts

by Perri O'Shaughnessy


Okay, I'll admit it right off the bat. When I saw the title of Perri O'Shaughnessy's new book I thought, "Aha, Nina Reilly has a case involving tennis pros!" But, no. SINISTER SHORTS is actually a collection of "short" stories written by sisters Pam and Mary O'Shaughnessy, who between them have penned eleven legal thrillers that always leave readers eagerly wanting more. Fans will not be disappointed with this diversion from their norm.

While SINISTER SHORTS is not the series we're familiar with, it does contain all of the elements that go into making that series so popular. And, in addition to the usual fast-paced, no-nonsense writing, there are components that reveal a darker side of the usually sanguine duo that will resonate with readers who enjoy a bit of the macabre with their mystery. The introduction challenges readers to try to figure out which sister wrote which story. But no matter. These nineteen stories are so engrossing you will soon forget the writers and become immersed in the characters and action. Which is as it should be.

Over the years I had forgotten how satisfying reading short stories can be: an entire plot, with well-defined characters, a theme, suspense, irony, humor and resolution, all wrapped up in ten exciting pages. In SINISTER SHORTS there is the almost poetic "Sandstorm," which unexpectedly reveals how easy it is to follow a disturbed stream of consciousness. "The Couple Behind the Curtain" offers a frank exchange between husband and wife that is both haunting and shocking. To keep you guessing, there's the paranoid lady of "Lemons" --- and we find out she has a lot to be paranoid about. Look at the time, it's way past my bedtime but, oh, just one more!!!

The plot twists will keep you from becoming too confident of your detecting skills. Sometimes what goes around comes around, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the good guys win and sometimes the guys who don't know they're good guys win. It's all great fun and sure to satisfy.

Sinister Shorts
by Perri O'Shaughnessy

  • Publication Date: January 31, 2006
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • ISBN-10: 0385337973
  • ISBN-13: 9780385337977