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Book Review: Trespass – Author Jo-Anne Russell

By: Jo-Anne Russell

Ten short stories with a common theme of violation, sin or injustice.

The Denturist: Bruce Jones makes a dark deal for a dazzling new smile
Accidental Death: A writer’s dreams becomes a living nightmare as the story that tells itself goes horribly out of control
Covenant of Flesh: Tyler realizes there is more to kinship than simply genes
Fester: A band of teens pay the price for alienating one of their peers on a camping trip
Whispers in the Cellar: Angel longs to reunite with her sister Maggie yet a deep, dark secret lurks beneath their very existence.

Other tales include: Curious, Loose Change, The Ninth Stall, The Promised Land, Turning of The Tides.

This ethereal collection of short stories from Canadian author Jo-Anne Russell is brief, concise and flows well for captivating new readers. It’s an ideal recommendation for commuters, camp fire chiller readings or simply something to pass a rainy Saturday afternoon with. I’m particularly fond of the ambiguous, abstract endings that are open ended, provoking the imagination and involving the reader. Far too often, especially in novice writers I find the inclination is to hit the audience over the head with the obvious. Russell seems to hold the same sentiment as each conclusion sends new chills up and down the spine with rejuvenated fascination.

Trespass holds a solid sense of introduction, character development, conflict and conclusion in each and every tale. This is no easy feat as structurally the short story format holds many limitations to deliver each of these components. The author seems to deliver all of the essential ingredients with gripping ease.

The dialogue is realistic, contemporary and translates well unto a universal audience. The omission of exposition or minimal use keeps the story on track and threatens not to stray the readers’ attention.

The common theme of trespassing makes this collection appealing and intriguing. Many readers will be motivated to choose this selection based upon this premise alone.

There are some very minor gripes with respect to Trespass. I noticed there were a few clumsy spelling, typo and grammatical errors that should not have been overlooked. I’m hard pressed to find any novel in this era that is completely error free, yet these errors jump out at you and therefore tarnish the overall presentation of an otherwise very slick and professional product. The prose, style or voice at times can be a little awkward. It’s not a huge issue but it may distract from a few new readers attention and its evident this kind of stylistic issue will work its way through in due time.

A most entertaining and spooky collection; worth a look for fans of short story fiction.

Book Review: Trespass – Author Jo-Anne Russell

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