Intoxication (A Suspense Thriller) Kindle Edition
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For anyone unfamiliar with Kizer's work, this book, like several of his others, is a collection of stories, and there's considerable overlap among his various books in regard to story inclusion. This book contains three stories (the title story actually being a novelette): "Intoxication," "Hitchhiker," and "Sixtus." If you've already read other books by Kizer, be aware of any duplication or crossover. You might be paying for one or more stories you've already read.
The best story in the book, "Hitchhiker," is the shortest, but by far the best. The plot is straight out of Alfred Hitchcock. One man picks up another whos is hitchhiking through a fairly remote area. Soon, both men realize that the other one is actually a serial killer, and the story turns into a duel of wits with each trying to emerge the last man alive. "Hitchhiker" has a solid premise, and Kizer tells it fairly straight, maintaining the creepy mood, generating a fair amount of curious suspense (there's no rooting interest here, since both characters are rather odious), leading to a decent twist at the end. This is one story that could, and probably should, have been longer to let the cat-and-mouse game play out some more.
And that pretty much ends the good things I have to say about this collection. The other two stories are a complete mess. “Sixtus” is the story of a teenage boy named Zack who was born with a rare genetic abnormality, a fully formed sixth finger on one hand. What’s more, the finger is named Jeremy and it talks to Zack, directing him to kill an every growing number of people, most notably his parents (naturally, Zack is the only one who can hear Jeremy when he gives these little encouraging pep talks to Zack). The idea of a young teen serial killer being able to fly under the radar due to his age is intriguing, but author Kizer jettisons that in favor of a number of man-to-finger talks between Zack and Jeremy that resemble something that a bad amateur comic would come up with for open mike night at the local comedy club.
At least, “Sixtus” is fairly easy to follow, something that cannot be said for the title story in the collection, “Intoxication.” It concerns a woman who thinks that her co-workers are trying to poison her so she tries to poison them, plus there’s a kidnapping or two, and other plots (real or imagined) in a story that seems to go on forever. It’s not funny, very difficult to follow, not scary or suspenseful, and the only thing that mildly piqued my interest was how anyone at this company managed to keep his or her job.
In addition to the three main stories, the book contains an extra flash fiction story, "The Bike," about a poker game gone awry, plus a lengthy excerpt from one of the author's novels that takes up the last one-third of the book. "The Bike" does not add much to the book; it's an interesting idea so poorly executed that it's nearly incomprehensible as a story.
As a standalone story, I would have recommended “Hitchhiker,” even though I wish it had been a bit longer. But it’s not a standalone story, and along with it, author Kizer gives readers, “Sixtus,” which is downright silly, and “Intoxication,” which is a complete mess. I am loath to give out one-star reviews to anything that has some merit, so I’m giving “Hitchhiker” two stars and only for someone who has never encountered the first story before. Otherwise, the rest of the book has far too many hitches in it.
We don't usually pick up hitchhikers... but I'm-a gonna go with my instincts on this one. - Dumb and Dumber
author Tim Kizer whips up three short stories that touch on man's darker side:
* Intoxication - when Rick drinks the poisoned coffee intended for her, Leslie takes matters into her own hands and vows to find out who wants her dead
* Hitchhiker - after leaving his victim lifeless in the woods, Ron hitches a ride on David's car and their trip together is one neither will forget
* The Ride - Jesse wakes up to find the police at his door accusing him of a crime he does not remember committing
three things are explored here: man's taste for revenge, his cunning and blood lust. Intoxication and The Ride were both good but among the stories, Hitchhiker stands out for its tense dialog, strong characterization and suspenseful development. i loved how scene after scene played out especially the surprise at the end. justice was served but in a twisted kind of way.
overall, i find this collection enjoyable enough and it was a quick read too.