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Safe Inside the Violence Paperback – November 10, 2015
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About the Author
Christopher Irvin is the author of Burn Cards and Federales, as well as short stories featured in several publications, including Thuglit, Beat to a Pulp, and Shotgun Honey. He lives in Boston, MA with his wife and two sons.
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Irvin creates characters and scenarios that immediately build tension and a certain hyper-awareness of the predicaments he creates from the ground-up, often in only a few paragraphs. Many of the pieces could almost be described as "sketches" rather than full-on "stories," in the sense that Irvin doesn't necessarily feel the need to always tidy things up for the reader, leaving an almost breathless desire to stare at the blank page below that last line of text with an irrational focus that whatever happens next will suddenly appear there, magically, before your very eyes.
There's enough meat on this plate, however, to satisfy hunters of new noir-fiction stories, real bad stuff happening to multi-dimensional characters. What I found most impressive was how quickly Irvin can ratchet up the tension, and almost as quickly snuff the whole thing out faster than a bullet to the head.
I look forward with great eagerness to checking out Irvin's back-catalogue while expectantly awaiting his future releases.
Highly recommend this collection.
My favorite story of the book is the title story Safe Inside The Violence. A man inherits his old family home after the death of his father who he has been estranged from for 15 years. The neighbor's aren't too friendly which leads to some drama.
Another strong story is Vacation Package. Reminiscent of 25th hour tells a story about a man preparing for jail after committing a white collar crime. This one is very short and leaves you wanting more but not in a bad way.
Lupe's Lemon Elixer is another great one about a woman with a cleaning business who is asked by her ex-husband to do the riskiest cleaning job of her life.
Napoleon Of The North End is about a garbage man in Boston who finds out more than he bargains for when he decides to walk his wife home after work.
These are just a few of my favorites from the collection although I did like them all. This is the first book I have read by Irvin but it definitely will not be the last. I look forward to reading more of his work. If you enjoy noir/crime fiction its definitely worth picking up.