Nevada Noir by David Arrowsmith is a collection of three intriguing stories set in, of course, Nevada. These stories are not simply separate entities though, they are interlinked and connected throughout, they are connected through characters, plot, and the theme of death.
Death is an ever-present figure throughout these stories, its dark fingers manipulating the events and leading to a twisted finale.
Arrowsmith is a description master, all three of the stories are packed to bursting point with wonderfully curated description that at times read more like poetry than a story.
Sadly though at more than one point this is also a weakness. This emphasis on being highly descriptive slows the flow of the story down to a crawl and detracts from the plot to the point where it can become confusing as to what is occurring on the page.
I found this issue to be more prevalent in the first, and for my money least interesting of the three stories. The other two tales are more focused on the characters and the plot, creating a much tighter reading experience, it also helped create characters that I cared for.
The second story in particular was my favourite, its tight focus on just two characters allowed them to grow and take seed in my mind, even for just a brief time. I found myself invested in that story in a way I never became with the first one. Each story has its strengths and weaknesses but for me the middle tale was the strongest.
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I read all three of these stories in one sitting, although devoured may be a more accurate description. This was a great read, each story was a rollercoaster of a journey that all came together in a gripping and unexpected conclusion.
The stories all flow in and out of each other seamlessly creating a deep and rich world that is clearly larger and more alive than the small snippets we read in the page.
I have to congratulate David on his particular skill on bringing his characters to life in such a small amount of words. It was only on the second, more careful read through, that I could fully appreciate the sensitive subtlety he put into his characters that helped bring them to life.
The main complaint I have though is that this collection was so short, too short for the final story in particular I felt. I was just beginning to enjoy the journey and it was over. And the second story really felt like it could have been at least a novella, there was far more to explore there but it was cut off so quickly.
Yet that makes for a quick well paced read that all told was highly enjoyable.
I highly recommend you check out Nevada Noir it really is a brilliant read.
You can grab a copy of the book for yourself on Amazon.
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