4 out of 4 stars
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People Behaving Badly: A Collection of Short Mystery Stories by John D. Ottini is a book in the crime/murder mystery genre.
The book features thirteen short stories exploring the different shades of criminal behavior. The stories are:
Easy Pickings: A small time thief is going to find out why it is always best to follow mum’s advice about not picking up strangers.
Dumpster Rose: The protagonist is about to discover that every beautiful face is not innocent.
True Confession: Everyone has a dark secret waiting to come out. Even the righteous Priest has a confession to make.
A Shoulder to Die On: A suspicious wife will have her suspicions confirmed in a most unlikely fashion.
Killer Karma: As they say, Karma can be a …., you know what I mean.
The Auditor Cometh: Predicting the future can be a risky business, and a fortune teller should know that telling people’s future might have consequences in present.
Falling is the Hardest Part : It is not advisable for one’s health to dump a woman who doesn’t like being rejected.
Matter of Disposal: Even the walls have ears. One should not eavesdrop on other people’s conversations. You never know what you might hear.
A Deadly Act of Kindness: Children are incapable of anything evil, right? Wrong!
Hell to Pay: A set of brothers are about to earn their punishment for bad behavior and learn that it’s never wise to cross the old woman living next door.
Sorrow Point: Some people always get the last laugh, even if they have to rise from their ashes.
The Butcher: It’s never a good idea to lie to your wife, especially when you might be caught on camera.
Lucky Thirteen: Take enough for your need but not for your greed because the greedy will get their just desserts.
The stories in this book are just the right length to keep the anticipation level and make readers wait with bated breath to find out what happens. The strongest point of these stories is their unpredictability. The reader would get completely engrossed in the story and then there would be this unlikely twist where the story would end. The writing is absolutely flawless. There are no unnecessary details or drama. The stories are crisp, without being too short.
The author mixes the right amount of quirks and horror to make the stories both humorous and horrifying. It’s exciting to read about the characters getting their comeuppance, but there are deeper themes underneath the entertaining tales. The stories comprehend the reasons behind murders. What motivates a person to commit a crime? Greed, vigilantism, infidelity, lust, insanity, there is no end to the list. The author also looks at some sensitive issues like a woman’s self-esteem and the damage that stereotypes do to our society ("I can’t ever imagine bringing someone like you home to meet my parents”), or the effect of sexual abuse on children.
Apart from being really captivating stories, the book is short and can be finished in one sitting. I would seriously recommend this book to people who love reading quirky crime mysteries or who prefer a short and entertaining read. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
People Behaving Badly
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