'Awake Till the End,' a book of crime short stories by Alysse Aallyn
"Awake Till the End" came to our office about a week or so ago, and our editor handed it off to me to take a read. The book is a collection of short stories from a Bolton, Conn., author who has published several other full-length psychological thrillers and I was eager to dive in. The book comes out next month, so it was a kick to have an early issue to read, too.
But I was disappointed.
Ms. Aallyn's books are not typical thrillers, despite Agatha Christie being an old favorite from her childhood. That's always been OK, but these stories just don't give me enough to work with. With some stories, I'd turn a page and the story ended, and I didn't just want the characters to stick around, I wanted to know what the heck happened! It's one thing to leave a reader to discern, from their own experiences, what likely took place. It's another to be so cryptic at times that your reader is just left confused.
With other stories, too much is assumed on behalf of the reader and the action is too fast, with too little actual detail.
I admit, short stories can be the hardest form of story to write. To get the time frame, action and details all balanced correctly is never easy and not something many writers have actually done well. This is, I am sad to say, another example of one that didn't quite come together. I know she has another novel coming out soon; I'd save my pennies for that one.