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on June 4, 2004
It's been said that the short story is a more difficult genre to master than the novel. Clearly that's the case for Jeffrey Deaver. His novels, while not literary masterpieces by any means, at least hold the reader's attention with reasonably intelligent and interesting plots. This collection of short stories, in contrast, is thoroughly predictable, in places laughably bad (eg, the story set in Shakespearean England and written in a ridiculous, ill-informed version of period language), and mostly just downright boring. The stories are of the same caliber as you'd find in a cheap mystery or horror magazine or anthology filled with the efforts of unknown writers. Unless you're stuck on an airplane with nothing else to read, skip this one.
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