What follows a gunshot after the noise dies away? The echoes are not all audible. The bullet cannot be recalled. Someone's life is changed, seldom, but sometimes, for the better. GUNSHOT ECHOES is a collection of fictional accounts dealing with guns and the aftermath of shootings. It is not a social commentary on the right, or not, to bear arms.
The Outlander, a novella of South Africa
When David Stone, an American who has adopted South Africa as his home, answers the telephone he is sure it is his boss and owner of Private Computers International, Alex Becker, calling from the United States, nine time zones away. David does not realize at the time just how far his upscale lifestyle is about to tumble when the caller identifies herself.
The beautiful Marjie van der Luen is an engineer for the South African electric power company. Her technical alliance has been important to PCI's success, but she wields an even more intimate influence on David's personal life. David has lost track of her for two years, and now she is just a scratchy telephone line away, and David remembers. Marjie remembers too. She remembers David's reckless promise that he will kill for her, and she’s calling in the favor.
The intended victim Diana Craighall, while unknown to David, turns out not quite a stranger. After gaining entry to her home through subterfuge, David discovers that Diana is the fiancée of his employer, Alex Becker!
Following the murder, David discovers that Marjie has set up a strategy to blackmail him, or perhaps to expose him as the killer. To protect himself David sacrifices Marjie to the authorities, and in the process murders twice more.
Through it all, David manages to conceal his involvement. However, Alex isn't convinced of David's innocence, and relieves him of his position with the company. While David is sorting out his crumbling circumstances, Marjie's friends kidnap and punish him for his treatment of Marjie.
The Short Stories
The "Mexican Holiday" is anything but as it unravels into an international kidnapping and drug smuggling terror. The protagonist is a travel magazine freelance writer who, with the aid of some friends and fellow travelers, saves the day for, and most of the lives of, a tour bus full of panicked vacationers from north of the border.
"Hambone Calls the Tune." Bonaparte Hammond is the new cop on the detective force, faced with investigation of a shooting that becomes the first in a sequence of murders. He masquerades as "Hambone," a newspaper music critic, in his attempt to unmask the killer, as the investigation leads the detective through the halls of country music.
"The Clay Pigeon" is a police procedural investigation and resolution of the shooting death of an international sportsman. Set in the Niagara Falls region, the story takes place in a skeet-shooting venue in which hundreds of participants from around the world bring hundreds of shotguns to the competition, and one of those guns is the murder weapon.
"Hobby House" is a publishing company in trouble that has nothing to do with the price of paper or print. The old owner-publisher steps down, his son steps up and steps on some toes, causing a writer and an editor to step forth with murder on their minds. A cop captain who can't remember names writes finis to the whole unwholesome chapter.
"A Murder for the Book" is a blueprint for, and completion of, the perfect murder, carried out by a world renowned murder mystery author who is well acquainted with leaving clues, or not leaving them at all. The story revises a historic adage that could be translated thusly: "Beware of friends bearing gifts."
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Learn more about this Author : Jim Woods
Woods knows how to keep the suspense and mystery alive, while leaving you eager to turn the page to see how the plots are going to unfold.
In the novella The Outlander - David Stone is a successful businessman in South Africa.
When the woman he loves shows up after years of absence, David is torn between his morals and regaining Marjie's love at her request for murder. In high hopes of having her again, he gives in to her demands and pursues his target.
Covering his tracks with every move he makes, David ends up implicating Marjie. Who is it that will be the one to get away with murder?
~Find out in this thrilling tale full of mystery and murder. Excellent read.
The Mexican Holiday - Raymond Yancey is a magazine reporter on assignment in Mexico.
When three Mexicans board the tour bus and hijack it, Ray must do some quick planning to help save them all.
~This story is one of those that has you punching the air saying, "That's right! Get him!"
Hambone Calls The Tune - Detective Hammond is at a stand still in his investigation. Three murders have occurred and the only connection is a country music bar.
Going under as a columnist for the local newspaper, Detective Hammond finally gets the lead he seeks to break the case.
~I enjoyed this read taking a special liking to Detective Hammond. He knows how to get things done.
The Clay Pigeon - When the biggest Shooters Tournament is held in the city of Buffalo, the shock of a murder was a little unnerving.
Law Enforcement Officials from all surrounding counties join this investigation when it is noted to have over five hundred guns as possible murder weapons.
~All the guns made this story a thriller. Keeps you guessing as to what will happen in the end.
Hobby House - New publisher Jack Connelly is brutally murdered in the lobby of his office building.
The murder weapon leads investigators on a wild goose chase in Mexico in pursuit of an Antique Arms and Swords Collector.
With a missing sword and gun and a previous argument with his publisher, the collector becomes the main suspect in Jack's murder.
As the investigation develops, it leads detectives to within the company.
~I enjoyed this story as Woods added humor to a good plot of murder.
A Murder For The Book - A writer gone dry has come up with a plan to make his next novel the most perfect murder/mystery novel of all time.
~This one had a great ending, with great clues. Fantastic!
Overall, Gunshot Echoes is an excellent read and will definitely appeal to the fans of this genre. It had me anxious to read to the end and I give it ****½ (4.5)Stars~BK Walker-Author/Reviewer of BK Walker Books, http://bkwalkerbooks.weebly.com
Copyright BK Walker Books - 2009