Short Stories Book Review: Tales with a Twist by Ramesh Vardharajan
Tales with a Twist lives up to its name. You’ll find a wide variety of stories here- some delightfully wicked, others macabre, some poignant. Settings range from the past to the future, Spain to India. Read on for the full short stories book review.
There are many short stories, but my favorite is the long one. Detective Malolan is an engaging character, all the more so because he is Indian and we can identify with him more. The story is a page turner. The supernatural, mystery and intrigue combine to make a deadly cocktail.
This collection has 24 stories. Once you understand Ramesh’s mind, you might be able to guess the twists in some. However, the characters are flamboyant and ensure that you enjoy reading the stories.
‘Absent Minded,’ the opening story- I found it difficult to think of any lawyer smart enough to get a client off because of a poor memory.
‘Reparing Cushions’ is cute and funny. Kids are quick to pick up what they shouldn’t.
‘Innocence’ presents a Korean slice of life. I found myself wondering if it was true?
‘Con Artist’ is a delicious short short story.
Next is ‘Journey’, which has some great lines, like “We are not sleeping, but we do have nightmares.” or “F5 press,” a term that was new to me.
‘Komberi Mookan’ is a sneaky story that snakes along.
‘The Troubles of Time Travel’ is also good and explains the Grandfather Paradox simply.
Criminal Minds could take inspiration from some of the plotlines here. ‘Perfection’-the Surpankha murder case is interesting and introduces us to Sayan Bhattacharya, an investigative reporter who returns in The Malolan Chronicles. I’m looking forward to more stories starring them both.
‘Lonely,’ a modern day Robinson Crusoe story is also different and skillfully plays with points of view.
‘The Malolan Chronicles: The Killer Film’ is the pick of the bunch and is about a killer video. Very fast paced. Warning- take some time out and read out, otherwise you’ll be distracted!
I’m happy I suspected the right person, although more clues would have been fairer to the reader.
‘The Loop,’ is a modern take on characters in ancient Indian magic and well worth a read.
Ramesh is talented and doesn’t miss a beat. Setting, action, characters- he’s got them down pat. Sure, sometimes he stretches the limits of our credibility, but he carries us away with him. Download his book for free here. Meanwhile, here’s another short stories book review.