Review of "Cops, Crooks & Other Stories in 100 Words," Flash Fiction Collection by Mark S. Bacon
Summary:A woman makes a daring escape from a bank robbery--with help from a cop. A detective sergeant outwits his inspector and solves the murder at a snowed-in manor. Two con men meet unexpectedly when they’re both plying their trade at the same resort hotel. These are some of the seemingly complex stories begun and resolved in exactly 100 words.
Seven of the stories in this collection have been published in five different online magazines: Stymie Magazine, 101 Words, Flashshot, 100-Word Story and MicroHorror.
Other stories include a man who discovers--and loses--his long-lost love at a ball game. A hit man receives an unusual request and is unable to comply. And a fatigued long-haul trucker reaches a bizarre destination.
Each entry is a complete story, most with a protagonist, a challenge and resolution. Here are 101 mini mysteries, mini puzzles with unexpected, satisfying endings.
Crime/mystery and law enforcement-oriented stories make up about half the collection. Also included are love stories, humor, dramas and “Twilight Zone”-style speculative fiction.
This is the first collection of flash fiction ever sent to be reviewed here at Book Brouhaha. I know from personal experience that putting together collections of flash fiction is quite challenging. To make a decent sized ebook, the author must compose dozens of complete stories.
I feel like the title was a bit of a misnomer. I know that in the summary it says there's a variety of stories but with a title that emphasizes Cops and Crooks, you can't help but go in with certain expectations. The stories feel like a hodgepodge. The only real connecting factor being that they're all exactly 100 words.
That said, the quality of writing in this collection was quite good. Many authors crack under such a tight word constraint but Bacon really seems to thrive. As expected, some of the stories are more predictable than others. But I found that they never failed to make me smile and sometimes even take a moment to reflect. I feel like a flash fiction author has really done his/her job right if you don't feel like you need to rush to the next story right away. Much like poetry, the stories should be savored.
Definitely worth picking yourself up a copy. If you haven't read flash fiction before, this is a perfect time to try.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez