Review; Bad Decisions, by E.M.Smith

I’m not a huge crime reader, however I really enjoyed this short story by E.M.Smith. Being a short story, there is no messing around and the book opens straight into the action.

Jamie is a recovering alcoholic who is suddenly arrested for a murder he knew nothing about; the murder of his brother and his sister-in-law. Not only is this a murder case, but his two nieces Della, four, and Eva, three, have been kidnapped. Jamie wears an ankle tag that tracks his whereabouts and the police have proved that he was at the scene at the time the murders took place, but Jamie has no recollection of this.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 14.52.41Smith is very humorous in his approach to crime fiction, using light-hearted comedy in a similar way some of these action/thriller movies do with occasional one-liners and slapstick humour. When Jamie is arrested in the opening pages, he was in the bath and so is taken to the police station completely naked. He describes the detective, “expecting her to whip out her cell phone, take a picture of me flapping in the breeze, and then say I was free to go”. However, some of the phrases Smith uses are rather odd, although it has to be said, they can extremely original, something that authors can lose. Popular phrases and metaphors can be overused and tired out, for example “the world is your oyster”, “barking up the wrong tree”, etc. Smith comes up with various phrases of his own that are unique and humorous including: “This morning she was looking at me like I’d just ripped off her grandma’s head and shit down her neck”. An interesting image is conjured up in our head, but it fits in with the general tone of the rest of the novel. Something that he did that I absolutely loved was he finished with “Just the Beginning” instead of the traditional “the End”. Bad Decisions is the first of a series about Jamie and so the way Smith ends his novel demonstrates that this is the start of a continuing series, almost inviting you to continue reading.

Another thing I loved about Smith’s writing, although some people might not like this, is that he included details that weren’t important, but make the reader feel as though they are there. He includes details such as the bullet that is stuck in his shoe: “Brass casings rolled under my boots. One stuck in the bullet-groove and clicked every other step I took”. I can almost imagine Jamie walking with this bullet stuck in his shoe, making a metal-on-concrete sound every time he takes a step.

For anyone out there who loves crime/action/thriller fiction, this is a series for you. It includes a kidnapping, a murder, gunfights, helicopter fights, shootings, and much more.

Overall rating – 3.5/5

This e-book is currently free on Amazon so I urge all of you to go and grab a copy, as there aren’t many things free in this day and age! Kindle books can also be downloaded onto smartphones and other tablets, using the Amazon Kindle app.

This e-book is available from the UK here


from America here.

Please note: I have agreed to read this book and provide the author E.M.Smith with an honest review.

Next review: the Defeatist, by Sophie Bowns


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