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The compelling shorts

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It is really a challenging task to write short stories and when it is limited to one hundred words one could imagine how more challenging it would

It is really a challenging task to write short stories and when it is limited to one hundred words one could imagine how more challenging it would be.

The master craftsman, Jeffrey Archer, in his latest thrilling short stories with the title ‘Tell Tale’ comes out with such stories that catch the eyeballs of the read with his superb narrating skills.

In fact, there are two 100-word stories, which leaves the reader flabbergasted. ‘Unique’ and ‘The Perfect Murder’ are the two stories that leave the reader think over time and again to understand the essence.

It may sound déjà vu but some of the stories the reader finds that they are read before sometime back. For instance, the ending of the story ‘Who Killed the Mayor’ leaves the reader stunned but at the same time it sounds familiar.

All the stories end with a twist much to the shock and surprise of the reader. No wonder the author is likened to the great writers like Maugham and Dahl if not William Sydney Porter popularly known as O Henry.

In ‘View of Auvers-Sur-Oise’ how the newly recruited police officer, Guy Stanford, nabs the gangster Bernie Manners forms the unexpected climax. Likewise, the stories ‘All’s Fair in Love and War’, ‘The Car Park Attendant’, ‘The Wasted Hour’, ‘The Road to Damascus’, ‘The Cuckold’ spring surprises.

Archer takes the cake with ‘The Holiday of a Lifetime’ by giving the reader a choice of three climaxes to let him choose as per his choice.

In the ‘Senior Vice President’, when the bank management attempts to retire its senior vice president, Arthur Dunbar, before superannuation in order to cut his retirement benefits, Arthur tries to pull a coup of sorts. But the bank manager finds his plot and catches him. How he comes out unscathed and succeeds in his mission forms the climax.

‘A Good Toss to Lose’ is a story with First World War background, which proves that humanity is greater than the enmity between the nations.

For a change, Archer releases the teaser of his forthcoming novel ‘Heads You Win’ that makes the reader to eagerly look forward for the new book.

By: MV Syam Sundar

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