Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Suraya reviews The Jack Lockwood Diaries by Geoffrey West

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Suraya chose to read and review The Jack Lockwood Diaries by Geoffrey West



The Jack Lockwood Diaries

Geoffrey West

This collection of short stories is perfect for the reader who wants a quick, easy read during a commute or coffee break. Every story has a twist.

The author opens each story with a believable scenario, which sets up the reader to expect that something within that scene to happen. However, half way through, the story shifts to focus on another character or another scene with the narrator imagining scenarios as in the story, The Body in the Woods. The narrator discovers the body of a homeless man and alerts the authorities. After they leave, he sees a briefcase and opens it. There are documents inside the briefcase. They lead him to contact a person he thinks might be the deceased’s daughter. She is a public figure and instead of being grateful to him for returning what turns out to be her father’s personal items she becomes angry and wants to know what he expects from her to keep the items secret. We find out why when he opens a copy of her father’s book, written as an academic many years earlier.

His stories hint at ghostly presences and we read about shadowy figures appearing in unexpected places. For example, the door knock which unexpectedly changed temperature in The Knocker. We are also reminded that people are not what they seem in Leaving it all Behind and that it is all too easy to jump to the wrong conclusion in The Waxed Jacket.

Geoffrey West draws believable characters who are easy to imagine. Occasionally he leaps ahead and delivers the punch line without giving us the benefit of taking the journey with him. In that sense he sometimes misses opportunities to build tension or for showing us character flaws. For example, he might have given a hint of Lucinda’s duplicity which would have made the reader pay more attention to the story line knowing that something unexpected was coming simply by the way she said one thing then undermined it by a glance or small action, which the narrator misses, but we catch. That way the reader could have felt like he or she was in on the secret and on the lookout for the moment when she gave herself away. This would have unsettled the reader enough to make him or her wonder why things did not quite add up yet still been surprised by the end.

There are many tales I could discuss but have chosen these few as tasters. I hope you enjoy all of them as I did.

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