Tuesday, October 29, 2013

False Shadows / BV Lawson

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Short Story Collection/Crime Fiction

Approximate word count: 25-30,000 words

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BV Lawson is a full-time freelance writer having held a number of roles including a TV features writer for the Discovery Channel. The author is currently working on a series of crime fiction novels.

You can learn more about the author at his website or blog.


Eight short stories about Scott Drayco, classical pianist turned freelance crime consultant.


Each of the short stories has (if you excuse the pun) a musical undertone. Drayco had been a professional pianist of note, until he was attacked, wounded and could no longer play to such a high standard. Instead he turned to a career in the FBI before striking out on his own.

In the first story Drayco is called in to investigate a threat to steal a valuable Stradivarius from a museum. It opens with interest, Drayco and his companions suffering the immediate after effects of a smoke bomb. In the chaos the violin disappears, Drayco ultimately unmasks the thief.

In Blood Antiphon, the next short, Drayco receives a call to meet with a serial killer, Andrew Wyse, in prison. During the tale it’s revealed that it was Wyse’s son who’d injured Drayco, ending his musical career. Wyse blames Drayco for his son’s eventual death in prison. It’s an interesting approach, but ultimately the outcome is left hanging a little, maybe back story for a future novel?

In The Clue Room, Drayco is called to meet with the wife of a long deceased conductor who died in front of an audience of a thousand people. The wife reveals her husband was murdered and gives him an hour to determine who the killer was using only the clues in the room around him.

Overall the writing style is itself well structured and interesting, here’s an example:

The man’s overall appearance might be unexceptional, but his eyes were not. Looking into them was like shining a light into dark water and watching ordinary objects twisted into distorted, colorless shapes.

However, as I progressed I found myself not entirely engaged with the stories. A couple of them have similar premises (jealous spouses) and the perpetrator wasn’t always a challenge to determine – but I recognize these are short stories and do not necessarily provide the word count to spin a very tangled web. All in all a decent read.


Nothing of note.

Format/Typo Issues:


Rating: *** Three Stars

1 comment:

KRS said...

As a musician, I am intrigued by your review and looking forward to adding it to my collection.