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Invasion of Privacy and Other Short Stories [Kindle Edition]

Jim Liston
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Someone could be watching you right now, as you sit at your computer.


You think you're alone and you expect to have a certain amount of privacy, but there's a good chance your computer isn't safe. It's one of the easiest things for a hacker to do. They can turn your webcam on, without you knowing, and watch everything you do.

Jim and his team of computer hackers are searching for a killer. They know they're invading your privacy and it's illegal, but they don't care. If you have nothing to hide don't worry, they'll move on soon enough.

Invasion of Privacy is a short fiction murder mystery that will have you on the edge of your seat. It's a decent-sized novella and an interesting angle on a modern if questionable method of detection, without delving into forensics nor taking the computereze technobabble to ridiculous lengths. The rest of the stories in the anthology are flash fiction, short enough to read while waiting in line or at the doctor's office, powerful enough to stick with you the next day.They are a combination of true crime, drama, and other flash fiction adventures.

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
This remarkable collection of tales and vignettes grab you and don't let go until the end. Some are reminiscent of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone; a mix of horror, fantasy and the absurd. Others, like Invasion of Privacy, are engrossing short story adventures spiced with a bit of mystery. They all share a few attributes: amazing characters whom you quickly come to know and care about, and story-lines that catch you up in the action with the first few words. Jim Liston's stories are great reading and highly entertaining.

Amazon Reader Reviews
"Read each story on your cell phone as you commute and you'll emerge from your trip with a smile on your face. I absolutely loved The Doctor's Pet Fly, and the last story, Ronnie and the Smoke Bomb, exposed the writer's sensitivity and ability to capture in few words and with well chosen dialog the essence of the character, something that is so difficult to achieve."

"This short story collection is a heady mix of the macabre, the absurd, the horrific--they somehow remind you of the 1960s-era `The Twilight Zone' or the more bizarre episodes of the 'Ray Bradbury Theater'.

"Each of the short stories had its own fascination and attraction. I have to say, that I enjoyed each of them, even that I have never read stories like them before. Some of them I had to smile. Particular the second story "The Tourist Attraction". Until the end, I didn't know what was coming. Brilliantly written, as all the stories are. A very brilliant and enjoyable collection. The stories are still going round my head."


Editorial Reviews

Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Invasion of Privacy and Other Short Stories is a collection of Jim Liston's tales and vignettes. The title story, Invasion of Privacy, is about Jim Gotweb, a computer geek who has a little computer store which he runs with his wife until she's stabbed and left for dead by a robber. Jim got a look at the robber as he was leaving the store; a man with a spider tattoo on his face. Devastated and bereft, Jim decides that he's going to find the man even if the police can't, or won't.

He refreshes his rusty programming skills and sets up a program that allows him to spy on people via their webcams. His program soon has him quite busy with an amazing number of homes to watch, and he's even helped out some victims of abuse and other crimes as a result of his surveillance. He's getting pretty stretched for time, however, and decides to look for an employee to handle the counter trade. Roger, a young geek, is soon working the counter and helping him with his program. Just as Jim despairs of ever finding his wife's murderer, things start to happen.

Invasion of Privacy and Other Short Stories is a remarkable collection of short stories that grab you and don't let go until the end. Some are reminiscent of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone; a mix of horror, fantasy and the absurd. Others, like Invasion of Privacy, are engrossing adventures spiced with a bit of mystery. They all share a few attributes: amazing characters whom you quickly come to know and care about, and story-lines that catch you up in the action with the first few words. Jim Liston's stories are great reading and highly entertaining.

About the Author

Jim Liston grew up in the wild 70s in St. Louis, Missouri. A musician all of his life, he spent most of his early adult years traveling as a drummer in rock bands. He currently plays the mandolin and is part of a bluegrass duo with his wife. A computer fanatic, Jim has been developing and maintaining websites for fifteen years and has been writing short stories and flash fiction on his blog, JimsGotWeb.com. The positive feedback has encouraged him to publish his first book, "Invasion of Privacy and Other Short Stories." He is currently working on his next book, which will be published in January 2014.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A chilling, addictive thrill ride August 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Short story collections have become relatively rare these days--almost the only ones that make them are the already famous ones--Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, George Martin. But sometimes you encounter a writer so gutsy that he throws all caution to the wind and goes ahead with what he does best. One such writer is Jim Liston, whose book, `Invasion of Privacy and Other Short Stories' consists of strange, dark, compellingly intriguing stories you will want to consume in one sitting.

The title story, of course, is a dark, but ultimately satisfying tale called "Invasion of Privacy." Jim Gotweb, a computer programmer who runs a small computer shop, is on the war path: his wife was stabbed to death during a robbery, and the only clue he's got is the distinctive spider tattoo on the killer's face. But that doesn't stop him from going over the top to find his wife's killer--a computer coder, he creates a program that allows him to track a growing network of webcams throughout the city in the hopes of finding his target and exacting revenge. As it turns out, what he wants is not so simple, and soon, he meets other characters who join him on his "mission:" Roger, a teenaged geek, and the bombshell named Melanie, who seems like Irene Adler to Jim's Sherlock.

The other stories in the collection are a heady mix of the macabre, the absurd, the horrific--they somehow remind you of the 1960s-era `The Twilight Zone' or the more bizarre episodes of the Ray Bradbury Theater'. Some of the stories serve like "breathers"--clever, thoughtful intermissions to the more intense stories. But I admit, I love the title story `Invasion of Privacy' the most--it drips with a sense of adventure, and the suspenseful cliffhangers are chilling enough to leave you panting for more.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A ton of stories with remarkable twists August 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jim Liston compiled a remarkable anthology of short stories, all of which contain some level of twists wrapped around the theme of "Invasion of Privacy". While some of the stories had predictable twists, there were some that were incredible and blindsiding. Some of my favorites included "Carl and Tabitha", which had me genuinely smiling in surprise at the end. "The Doctor's Pet Fly" had such a brilliant insight into what goes through a person's mind during difficult times. "The Show" led you down a path of a carnival atmosphere before hitting you with the twist at the end.

Even beyond the stories themselves, Liston did a great job creating memorable characters in such a small amount of pages. The namesake story "Invasion of Privacy" is by far the longest of the short stories, but it was the character Melanie that I enjoyed the most (and not just because her first scene involves her naked).

There were a few stories that I thought were a bit weaker, like "A Novel Murder", which is the only reason I gave this a 4-star rating until a well-deserved 5-star review. However, don't let that distract you from enjoying some exceptional stories. I could easily see some of these being lengthened into novellas or even novels without any issues, since the stories themselves are highly entertaining and the endings leave a slew of possibilities.

All in all, this was a very entertaining read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for more! August 15, 2013
By afain
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Invasion of Privacy is a great story about a man hunting down his wife's killer. The way he succeeds will have you thinking about this plot for a long time. I had never read flash fiction but I loved the twists in the end. Very enjoyable book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, well crafted, and enjoyable August 12, 2013
By L.Lop
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The short story is a particularly difficult but rewarding art form that I appreciate as a writer of novels, and this anthology did not disappoint me. Short stories require an economy of words that is so relevant to today's fast moving Internet world and so they are back and if you love hearing interesting and clever stories, this is the book for you! Read each story on your cell phone as you commute and you'll emerge from your trip with a smile on your face. I absolutely loved The Doctor's Pet Fly, and the last story, Ronnie and the Smoke Bomb, exposed the writer's sensitivity and ability to capture in few words and with well chosen dialog the essence of the character, something that is so difficult to achieve. The first story, Invasion of Privacy, was longer and could be a TV episode. Totally satisfying and the use of the first person narrative was very effective. The device of using computers to invade privacy and simply the geek mentality reminded me a bit of Stieg Larsson's work and I found the story very engaging. These stories are snapshots of the human condition, and they make you think days after reading them. A well crafted set of short stories that is true to the tradition of short fiction, and I give it five stars. I hope to see more from the author Jim Liston on Kindle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still thinking about these stories the next day August 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A surprisingly good collection of stories for 99 cents. The title story is a decent-sized novella and an interesting angle on a modern if questionable method of detection, without delving into forensics nor taking the computereze technobabble to ridiculous lengths. The others are flash fiction, short enough to read while waiting in line or at the doctor's office, powerful enough to stick with me the next day.

"Carl and Tabitha" is downright brilliant. Others gave me that wonderful creepy feeling that I know what's coming, including "The Tourist Attraction," "The Show," and "Tag, You're It!" Still others leave me thinking and feeling with the characters, including "Ronnie and the Smoke Bomb" and "The Doctor's Pet Fly." All in all, I enjoyed them, even if another round of proofreading wouldn't hurt.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
never read collections of short stories but I found these quite enjoyable..they really are short. Great for waiting in car or doctor's office. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pat canada
1.0 out of 5 stars DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS JUVENILE, BORING BOOK
THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT THE BOOK IS THAT IT IS SHORT. THE STORIES ARE EITHER STUPID FANTACIES OR BORINLY TRITE, OR BOTH. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roy Berger
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading
Even if you do not usually read short stories, these are worth reading. They are tight little tales. Some of which the ending can be anticipated. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roxie's Mum
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting
This is completely outside of the genres I typically read, but I found these stories fascinating. To be able to pull a reader in with so few words takes truly remarkable writing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by JulieK
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed very much
Fitting for this period of time, especially with all the talk about the security of computers in our daily life. How secure are we?
Published 4 months ago by Wild Blue
5.0 out of 5 stars Invasion - Freaky Concept/Wild Ride
Invasion of Privacy is a 40 minute read that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. The concept of someone tapping into computers to watch you is freaky. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kimmy's Korner
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't quite do it for me
The book opens with the title story, Invasion of Privacy. Jim runs a computer sales shop, he goes to the store to meet his wife, but finds her dying. Read more
Published 5 months ago by K. Nixon
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written short stories
This is exactly what I am looking for when I read short stories - captivating and thought-provoking. I liked it very much.
Published 5 months ago by Juanita Nagel
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking short story
I found these stories to be very interesting. Privacy in life is mostly an illusion but in most cases we feel safe at home. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Len K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!
First of all, thank you, Jim Liston, for not once using GDamn in any of the stories. Yours was the third book I read on the Kindle in as many days, and I had just about resigned... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ashley
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More About the Author

Jim Liston grew up in the wild 70s in St. Louis, Missouri. A musician all of his life, he spent most of his early adult years traveling as a drummer in rock bands. He currently plays the mandolin and is part of a bluegrass duo with his wife.

He has been writing short stories and flash fiction on his blog, JimsGotWeb.com, and the positive feedback has encouraged him to publish his first book, "Invasion of Privacy and Other Short Stories." He is currently working on his next book, "Addicted to Fire," which will be published in 2014.

Visit his blog, NewFreeKindleBooks.com for a current listing of free and discounted eBooks for your Kindle.
Visit his website, JimsGotWeb.com, for more short stories or email him, jim@jimsgotweb.com.



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