Then comes the master, Ed Gorman, with a dark suspense tale reminiscent of Shirley Jackson or Ira Levin. “Angie” is one of those stories that will stick with you for a good long time.
Next is the incomparable Joel Goldman with “Knife Fight”, the story of a public defender who administers her own brand of justice to clients she knows are guilty.
Lee Goldberg gives us a story inspired by traffic school. “Jack Webb’s Star” is a darkly funny story about a heist that could only happen in Hollywood. The author of TV’s brilliant, but obsessive-compulsive, detective Monk is on top of his game.
Stephen Gallagher gives us the the International Horror Guild best short fiction nominee,”Restraint,” a story of a woman who will go to any extent to keep her children safe from her violent ex-husband who tries to wreck their lives, even when he is dead.
Bill Crider’s “Top Of The World” is a sexy, twisting story of crime and punishment, or the lack thereof. It was a finalist for the Short Mystery Fiction Society, Derringer Award. It features a pair of bank robbers who share a forbidden love, and a thirst for crime.
And finishing out this dirty dozen is Max Allan Collins, the author of the graphic novel, Road to Perdition, that became the hit 2002 movie starring Tom Hanks. It features Collins’ series character, hit man Quarry. “A Matter of Principal” was chosen by Jeffrey Deaver for his Best Noir Of The Century anthology. The story was also made into the film,The Last Lullaby, starring Tom Sizemore.
The Top Suspense Group has proven with this, their second collection, that great short fiction is not a dying art form. This anthology is one that readers will want to turn to again and again, and the group not only writes great crime stories, they have presented a finely crafted eBook, complete with a wonderful cover, a searchable and clickable table of contents, title pages for each story, and forewords from each author, saying a bit about the story.