Wednesday, March 6, 2013

All The Lights That Have Shone / Paul McCormack

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Mystery/Short Story Collection

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words

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Paul McCormack doesn’t like the idea of bios, so has not shared any information about himself on the web. However, for more information on the author’s work visit his website.


All The Lights… is a collection of short stories.


This is an interesting body of work, well written and at times intriguing. The author opens All The Lights… with a fairly heartfelt introduction about himself and the stories.

The first story is Iodine, which takes a little time to get to the nub of the tale which is the main character, Grant, hasn’t been himself since his adopted sister Laura disappeared. It covers their growing up to her apparent demise and the impact on the relationship with his partner. However, once developed, it ended rather abruptly and I didn’t feel it had been wrapped up.

The Best of Right Now is a story of cynical media manipulation. Jorge accidently saved a child’s life when she fell out of a window and he becomes a media celebrity.

The End That Suits You Best is an excellent short. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was my favourite. For an unexplained reason the world is about to come to an end. Able runs a diner and he prepares for the end by doing what he enjoys most, serving customers. There’s no explanation as to why the world is ending or how, which creates a great atmosphere and mystery.

A Dog Named Supper passed me by. Nicely written but a quiet story.

The Icicle Tree is a story of infidelity and loss from the viewpoints of each of the people involved. Again, well written and interesting. The multiple perspectives really helped. A very good story.

9th and Park is a quirky and fun mystery, couples are reputed to fall in love as the 3 o’clock bus appears, but sometimes one of them boards, never to be seen again. The one that remains cannot remember anything that’s happened.

Of the remaining three stories Always Get The Check was the stand out.

Overall I enjoyed the majority of the stories. The characters were good to excellent, the dialogue interesting.


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:


Rating: **** Four Stars

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