Thursday, April 07, 2011

Short Story Review: Charlie by Shana Hammaker

Charlie is the first short story in Shana Hammaker's short thriller series, Twelve Terrifying Tales for 2011 and let me tell you, you're going to be hearing a lot from Ms. Hammaker if I have anything to do with it because this is one fantastic read! You know, writing a short story is a specific art form all its own and not many writers can accomplish this feat successfully, but so far (and I've read three of Ms. Hammaker's stories thus far) I can tell you that she has it down pat.

First off, I want to thank Ms. Hammaker for writing such a well crafted and thrilling story, but perhaps even more importantly, this thing sparkled off the page with such clarity I was almost caught off guard. Allow me to explain. A few months ago, I bought my first Kindle, and to be honest, I'm addicted to the thing. However, there's one thing that drives me absolutely crazy about the e-book craze -- so many authors are rushing to get their stories out to the public that a little thing called editing is getting thrown to the wayside. Misspelled words, absent periods and terrible grammar have plagued many of the e-books I've read. That is, until I read Shana Hammaker. Shana's stories are professionally written and error-free which is truly refreshing to me. I just wanted to mention this because it tells me she really puts a lot into her work and I, for one, appreciate that.

Anyway, back to Charlie. Charlie focuses on a woman named Alex who finds a corpse in the basement of her newly purchased home. He wasn't there when she closed on the house, but the poor dead guy got there somehow. Now, as if finding the dead guy in your home isn't bad enough, it gets worse when "Charlie," as she eventually names him, starts popping up again and again. Who is Charlie and why does he keep coming back? The answer is going to surprise you.

Shana Hammaker fills her debut story with expertly-crafted characters, gorgeously realistic dialogue and a flurry of fine details other writers wish they were able to create. The fact that she does this in a short story is all the more impressive.

Take my advice and start reading Shana Hammaker's short stories. They're beautifully written, fun and fast, and yeah, a little disturbing, but that's the way I like it! I give Charlie ***** out of *****. Order it from Amazon today, it's under a buck for crying out loud!