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crime

Book Review: Wild Chamber by Christopher Fowler

Wild Chamber (Bryant & May, #14)Wild Chamber by Christopher Fowler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m a huge fan of the Bryant & May novels by Christopher Fowler and have read them all with relish. They’re particularly fun for me as a Londoner and a history nerd. The author blends historical fact with fiction so well that on occasion I have found myself fact-checking several of the novels in order to distinguish between historical fact and flights of the author’s fancy.

Crime buffs will notice straight away that this story is a variation on a classic crime set up; the locked room mystery. A variation that could only really work in a London setting. The author does a great job of misleading the reader with several red herrings, and I didn’t start to zero in the the killer and his motive until the last few chapters. Even then it remained a rather nebulous notion until the denouement, when all was revealed.

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The Hollow

The Hollow was written for a Scribophile Flash Fiction contest and published in Heater Magazine on April 14th, 2015.

Excerpt

There was an empty space across the street where the girl once stood. It wasn’t a particularly interesting piece of pavement, framed by a pub and a betting shop, spattered with chewing gum and cigarette butts. It had been the girl who had made the space beautiful.

Every day for nearly a year she had stood there, playing her guitar for money. As regular as his heartbeat, from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, the sounds of Flamenco had filled the narrow street and Vadis had listened. There was a tube station a few hundred feet away and Vadis had wondered at first why she didn’t play there, but commuters lived in a world of their own, with their headphones and their mobile phones. Her music was wasted on them. The drunks and the gamblers were her audience instead, unlikely appreciators on the sublime.

No-one had known her name. He’d asked around. No-one even recalled speaking to her. Perhaps she didn’t speak English. On the few occasions Vadis had plucked up the courage to cross the street and drop a few coins in to her guitar case, she had merely smiled her thanks and played on. It was a smile he would have emptied his bank account for.

To read the full story you can download Heater Magazine from Amazon.