Rachel McLean

Author of Twisted Realities

Book recommendations – short stories

Are you like me, and you read on short train journeys? Whether it’s your daily commute or (like me) trips into the city to meet up with friends, a short journey is a great opportunity to catch up on some reading.

Often I’ll be in the middle of a book so I’ll grab that and take it with me – I read a book so good last week that I carried on reading while walking home from the station. But as I’ve only got a twenty minute journey to fill, and I only do it once a week, I like to read a short story on each journey.

Here are some recommendations of short stories I’ve read recently:

The Harder They Fall by Adam Croft

Adam Croft made a stir in the indie publishing world when his novel sold millions of copies, and all without an agent or a big publishing house. He writes taut, intriguing thrillers and mysteries with great twists. This one is no exception. A quick and satisfying read.

Gabriella Stevenson likes the finer things in life. So much that she’s prepared to kill for them.

A succession of rich husbands has ensured she’s never wanted for anything, but there are some itches that just can’t be scratched.

When she comes to realise that her current husband has reached the end of his usefulness there’s only one thing for it…

But plotting your husband’s murder isn’t quite as straightforward as you think…

Amazon UK
Amazon US

A Murder of Magpies by Mark Edwards

I’m halfway through this one right now so don’t tell me the twist just yet! It’s the short sequel to Mark Edwards’ hugely popular The Magpies. There are some really, really unpleasant characters…

Five years ago Jamie Knight lost everything: his home, his wife and their unborn child. But at least the woman responsible, ‘Dark Angel’ Lucy Newton, was in prison, and slowly Jamie was able to rebuild his life.

But now Lucy has been freed on appeal, and before long Jamie receives a message from a desperate stranger. Lucy is up to her old tricks—ruining lives for fun.

Jamie agrees to help. But once again, he has no idea what he is getting himself into…

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Alive by Sharon Bolton

I discovered Sharon Bolton a couple of months ago and she’s quickly become one of my favourite thriller authors. This set of stories is a companion to her new novel The Craftsman, which I’m steeling my self to read as these stories have put plenty of grizzly images in my head…

A dark moon is rising. A perfect black circle, barely visible in the night sky, the dark moon casts its void over the wind-scorched moor, over the soaring mass of a great limestone hill, and over the town that cowers in its shadow. The dark moon is the absence of moon before the slender silver crescent of the new moon appears again and people can breath a little easier.

The month is March and the night is clear and cold, black as pitch. The full moon in March is known as the Worm Moon, welcome despite its ominous name, marking as it does the end of winter and the emergence of earthworms from the thawing ground. Dark moons have never been named, although they are sometimes called the dead moons. The dark moons reign over nights when people stoke up their fires, draw their curtains tighter and try to think happy thoughts. In the town of Sabden at the foot of Pendle Hill in Lancashire they usually fail.

In Sabden’s soot-blackened terraced houses, the sleepers’ dreams darken when the moon leaves the sky. Infants wake up cold, mothers tremble with elusive fears for their children and old folks slip a little closer to death. Only the Craftsman welcomes the dark moon. Alone in the town, he is awake, and ready to start work.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

After the Flood by Rachel McLean

And here’s one of mine! This one is available on the Amazon store in Kindle Unlimited or you can read it right here on my website. It’s a companion to Thicker Than Water, my first novel.

Catastrophic floods have devastated England and left Meg’s home underwater.

She persuades her son Martin to escape by boat. But after he’s gone, she hears voices downstairs. Looters are looking for money – and her gun.

Will Meg survive?

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Want More?

I regularly publish my own short stories here to my blog, where you can read them for free. I also send stories to my book club members.

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Posted in Book Recommendations

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