I bought this super anthology on Audible after listening to the freebie The Window Man, written by Louise Millar and narrated by Claire Corbett. In one twenty-five minute tale, it reminded me of what I love about short stories and how much I’ve missed listening to them. There’s nothing quite like setting off on a walk knowing that you’ll be personally accompanied by a self-contained tale to while away the minutes. I first got into audiobooks by listening to pretty much every short story Stephen King has ever written, and while I’ve since transitioned into full length novels, there’s something that isn’t quite the same about them. The enjoyment is there, but the pleasure’s different. And Killer Women was a pleasurable collection indeed.
My personal favourites included the aforementioned Window Man – a taught little tale about a woman house-sitting for a week, but is all quite as it seems? (It’s crime fiction. Of course it isn’t.) The Edge by Colette McBeth had an excellent twist I didn’t see coming, and The Rat Trap by Jane Casey was in turns heartbreaking and powerfully hopeful. Stop the Pigeon by Louise Voss was a riotous ride, and Chance by Laura Wilson poignantly conveyed the wistfulness of a wasted life. The only author in the collection I’d read before was Alex Marwood, so this has definitely opened up some excellent avenues for future reading material.
The narration was spot on, especially by Adjoa Andoh, who also narrated a good chunk of my recent favourite The Power by Naomi Alderman. Carl Prekopp’s delivery was clear and easy on the ears. Of the other two narrators, Claire Corbett and Rache Atkins, I’m not sure which one it was, but one had a tendency to make her male voices sound like the speakers had received a recent blow to the back of the head. Not wonderful, but mostly forgivable.
There’s also a fun interview segment at the end of the book, in which the authors discuss their genres and the highlights of their career (most of which seemed to involve being praised by another author… do we really all write for the approval of others?). Over all, Killer Women is an excellent anthology, and if the #1 in the title is anything to go by, only the first of many.
[Read from 23-25 November 2016]