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Jack Daniels Stories Kindle Edition
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|Length: 242 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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In general I enjoyed the stories. Certainly, a short story does not allow the depth of development that a novella or novel does, and that showed. While I wasn't fond of the picture the stories painted of Phineas Troutt, preferring what I know of him from the three series novels I've read, I tended to enjoy his stories the most. Of the stories featuring the Jack Daniels character, "Body Shots" was, to me, the best of the lot. I enjoyed the story featuring Herb Benedict, too, feeling that it gave me more insight into the character, which will come into play in reading the remaining series novels.
The last story in the collection, a Harry McGlade short, bears an "Author's Note," warning the reader that he considers this the funniest thing he's ever written, but also the most offensive. He was correct on both counts. I can't say I enjoyed it as it fully lives up to Konrath's offensive warning, but the humor in it was good, and I especially liked his Clive Cussler touch of having Jack Daniels ask Harry if he'd every read J.A. Konrath's "Bloody Mary."
One of the things I did notice was the lack of fashion reporting. In the first three novels of the series, every time the main character (and sometimes other characters) appears, Konrath meticulously describes what she is wearing, name brands and all. That only appears once in four stories in the collection ("Body Shots" at location 2085 on Kindle). Guess the fashion descriptions must have cut too deeply into the allowed word count!
If you like the Jack Daniels series, you'll like these short stories. I always like reading shorts featuring characters from the series I follow. While the shorts can't match the character and plot development of a novel, they are great ways to gain insight into character, personality, backstory and motivation.
I think I enjoyed the mysteriousness of Phin in the series better than knowing the darkness behind him that is revealed in the stories. Harry is usually one of my favorites because he is so quirky, macho and funny. But I feel he needs Jack around more to counteract his wacked out personality. The last story featuring him was way over the top.
So, even though it was not one of my favorites, I enjoyed visiting with Jack and her cohorts again.
Jim Konrad is a special kind of author, one who writes.
Mcquaid stories always have this quality to them that I refer to as "Hackboiled", which shows an honest understanding and mastery over the genre that allows him to blend it perfectly. It isn't enough to do a pulp detective, and it isn't enough to imitate the hack quality. Frank has put together a decent little collection here that shows off Jackie a bit, but allows Harry to steal the show.
I highly recommend all of Jake's work, and this is no exception.