Evil Grows & Other Thrilling Tales

By: Loren D. Estlman

Narrated By: Paul Heitsch

GoodReads Summary: Loren D. Estleman has been writing and publishing books and novels since 1976. His fiction includes westerns, mysteries, thrillers, and historical thrillers. Along the way, he’s written a number of crime stories. Stories about the darker side of life, broken hearts, swindles, double-dealing and just plain evil men and women who define the title of this collection. No matter how many times you put it down…Evil Grows.

In this collection of twelve tales, you’ll find killers, cheats, liars, detectives, and more twists and turns than a country road. Contents include:

Evil Grows
How’s My Driving?
Saturday Night at the Mikado Massage
The Pioneer Strain
The Used
The Tree on Executioner Hill
Lock, Stock, and Casket
Bad Blood
State of Grace
Diminished Capacity


**I received this book in exchange for an honest review.**

We are an instant gratification society which makes it hard to wait for the next book in a beloved series. One would think that this plus the tiny attention span cultivated by 30 second commercials and news stories should lend itself to a proliferation of short stories.

But…insert into the equation a cultural tendency for gluttony and the difficulty of the art of the short story and we get merely discarded scenes from larger works, random bits of fan fiction written by a multitude of enthusiasts rather than springing from the mind of the initial creator.

It is rare to find an artist that can insert truth into bite-sized bits of juicy entertainment. In my estimation, Loren Estlman has managed to do just that.

Include the almost perfect timbre and mood that Paul Heitsch’s voice brings to the reading, and we have a rare jewel among the rough rocks of hundreds of aspiring writers not yet finding their voice.

Evil Grows & Other Thrilling Tales is a delightfully dark noir glimpse into the worlds of the criminal underbelly. Less a gruesome, blood-spattered attempt at gore, more an in depth peek into the minds of those who kill in a kill-or-be-killed criminal underbelly.

The writing is tight and dynamic, not wasting words even in intense descriptions that draw you in like quicksand.

Imagine yourself strolling along, glancing around and something catches your eye. You stop to study it. It’s a movement in the tree ahead, a shadow just at the edge of your vision. While you’re trying to determine a flight or fight response, the ground beneath your feet loses substance and your feet sink just a bit. That shadow could be a mugger or a neighbor, so you stand there and wait for it to move again. And your feet sink just a bit more. Without realizing it, you’ve remained in the same spot long enough for the quagmire to reach your knees. Just when the edges of panic creeps into your mind, the ground spits you out onto the sidewalk unceremoniously and disappears.

This is the effect of these short stories. They are subtle. They are sneaky. Just when you think you know what that shadow is, you feel the quicksand’s pressure on your knees.


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