Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dark & Merciless Things by Kate Ellis

First Line: (from Foreword) Kate Ellis is best known for her series of books-- there are sixteen of them at the time of writing, the latest being The Cadaver Game-- set in a fictional version of Dartmouth and featuring her likable cop, DI Wesley Peterson.

I've been recommending Kate Ellis's Wesley Peterson series to everyone for at least six years now, and if you still haven't sampled her work, this collection of ten short stories would be a perfect place to start.

The stories are set in various time periods; for example, "Les Inconnus" takes place in 1890s Paris when unclaimed bodies fished from the River Seine were put on display at the Morgue in hopes that they would be identified. Other stories take place in the present day, the aftermath of World War II, sixteenth century Liverpool, and so on.

What I love about them are the twists and turns each one takes to its conclusion. Reading them is like trying to cross a Lego-strewn floor barefoot in the dark. Just as you think you know where the story is heading-- ouch-- you're thrown off balance and have to get your bearings once again. Each one is a brightly polished little gem of plotting, and reading them is an absolute pleasure.

Haven't read Kate Ellis? Get your hands on ten Dark & Merciless Things. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you move on to her other two series, one featuring the aforementioned Wesley Peterson, and the other, another fine police detective, Joe Plantagenet. I enjoy them both!

Dark & Merciless Things by Kate Ellis
Kate Ellis © 2012
eBook, 138 pages

Short Stories
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased from Amazon. 


  1. Cathy - Short stories can be a great way to get to know an author's style. Thanks for sharing this one. I didn't even know that Ellis did short stories. I'll have to give them a try.

    1. I didn't know she wrote short stories either until I stumbled across a mention of this collection on her website. I need to check those websites more often!


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