Saturday, January 11, 2014

Three Times A Lady / Randy Charles

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Genre: Psychological Thriller / Short Story

Approximate word count: 5-10,000 words

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Randy Charles is a mental health professional who decided to write her own psychological fiction novels. She also likes DIY, music and cupcakes.


Emma Burns seems to be your average housewife, quietly married with a computer geek husband and two children. However Emma keeps forgetting things, to collect her kids from school, for example. Then people she meets know her, but under different names. Then when Emma wakes up in a bath, full of lukewarm, blood tinged water, she knows she needs to find out what’s going on.


The author says in her bio she has a debut novel coming soon. Presumably this novella is a taster for what’s on the way. But whether it’s an entirely different story, or a continuation of this one, I don’t know. And, although Three Times A Lady, is reasonably well written it suffers two issues – insufficient length to develop the theme which means there are more questions than answers.

Emma seems to be this boring, stay at home mom, but she starts receiving calls from Ricky, who refers to her as Carly. Apparently they’re in a relationship. Emma is confused. Then she’s out shopping with her kids and meets a woman who calls her Jessa. It seems they met at a bar, which Emma believes she’s never been inside.

Once Emma wakes up in the bath she decides enough is enough and goes to see Ricky. It transpires they’ve been in a relationship for six months. Then Emma goes to the bar, where apparently she’s a rabble rouser and is dating an ex-con. Only now does Emma’s husband start to get shirty.

And this is my problem. There’s a serious suspension of belief needed here. Could someone really not know what’s going on for six months? Husband and wife? How come Emma only now bumps into someone who knows her in another life? Why has Ricky only now just called her up?

Perhaps it’s feasible, I’m no expert. However I wasn’t presented with any evidence to answer these questions. Nice premise, but unfortunately in my mind it all seemed too unlikely, too unrealistic.

The ending was also a bit of an issue, it also leaves an unanswered question. Clearly this is what the author intended, but on top of the others it’s just a step too far. The writing is decent enough and I’d be interested to see how the novel turns out, but this little slice of narrative just isn’t sufficiently developed.



Format/Typo Issues:

Nothing worth a mention.

Rating: *** Three Stars

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