This is Wonderland.
A collection of tales featuring gritty, urban crime fiction blending a mix of murder, hope and betrayal. O’Leary takes you on a journey to the dark underbelly of life in the Australian Wonderland.
A place where race crimes and heists go wrong. Corrupt cops betray the ones they love, lives are turned on a sixpence.
Drug dealers turn Saints, honest people turn to crime.
A Private Investigator discovers pure evil while trying to save the life of a fifteen-year-old boy and a three-time loser gets the upper hand on the cops and his criminal boss.
A released convict’s past catches up with him and a desperate ex-spy becomes a hired killer.
Are you on board?
Are you ready to take the trip to Wonderland?
A cracking trip Down Under in the company of new-to-me author, Sean O'Leary and a gritty collection of thirteen of his short stories.
We have .....
Wonderland ... motel murder
Nowhere ... a car chase, a shootout, a dead dog, a dead assailant, an escape, consequences
Going All the Way ... marital discord, no money, economic desperation, a poor choice, a robbery participation which does not end well
Blues for a Boy .... a missing kid - paedophile prey, a PI hunt, another haunting tale with no happy ending
Somebody ... a drug dealer who doesn't want to deal drugs anymore
Time ... boy meets girl, all goes swimmingly until his past reveals its ugly head
Sweet ... a team of hackers, messing with the wrong guys
The Friends of Ricky Angel ... work colleagues
Prince of the City ... dirty cop vs IA
Fifteen ... a PI case, a missing kid and bad memories and an unintended outcome
100% Humidity .. a missing person, history and race hate
The Drop ... a drug courier, fake friends, a police sting, an alternate outcome
This Life ... a cleaner
Dark, dirty and disturbing. This is a powerful collection that had me invested in each and every tale, something which almost never happens when reading either collections or anthologies of short stories.
There's a fantastic sense of place, with some of the tales set back in the 80s upto the present day.
Drug dealers, couriers, prostitutes, delinquent youth, clean cops, dirty cops, private investigators, fractured families, ex-cons, poor choices, Hobson's choice, opportunity, escape, new life, death, the odd romance, revenge, violence, and a helluva lot more.
Highly recommended and a chance to see a seedy side of Aus, one that the tourist board would prefer to pretend didn't exist.
4.5 from 5
I'll be reading more from Sean O'Leary in the future.
Read - September, 2021
Published - 2021
Page count - 162
Source - review copy courtesy of author and publisher, Close To The Bone
Format - paperback