Lighting the Dark Side was recently nominated for the 2009 AllBooks Review Editor’s Choice Award for short story books.
Jan Evan Whitford at AllbooksReviews had this to say when he reviewed LIGHTING THE DARK SIDE-Six Modern Tales.
The book jacket claims these tales will exercise our emotions, capture our imagination, and challenge us to think in new directions. Well, I’m here to tell you all that the author delivers on all that plus much, much more! These novellas and short stories are definitely page-turners, but what impressed me the most was their character-driven force. Potter skillfully intertwined succinct narrative and some natural, fast-paced dialogue to present characters so real, they leapt right off the page and captivated me immediately.
Lighting the Dark Side is a collection of three novellas and three short stories, including plenty of action, thrills, suspense, mystery, and even romance. We start with an engaging story of an improbable romance between an obsessive-compulsive geek and a drop-dead gorgeous woman, seemed doomed from the start. Next, there’s an artist trying his best to thrive and find love in spite of overbearing, cruel parents. Following that, Potter changes directions and we’re treated to a well-done, hard-boiled police procedural with a nice twist. An end of the world by approaching comet thriller is on tap after that, with some great flash-forward writing as well as another ingenious plot twist. Now, these are all wonderful tales, but I believe Potter saved the best two for last. The title, Blessing or Curse is self-explanatory, referring to a big lottery win. A kidnapping for ransom follows and we’re treated to some of the author’s best dialogue. It’s hugely entertaining and there are virtually no wasted words Elmore Leonard style. And finally, Potter ends (all too soon) with a heart-warming tale of a wayward teenage street prostitute and a gentleman with a rescuer complex. It’s a great, intertwined plot where all the characters come together, in the same spirit of the Academy Award winning movie, Crash. Once again, Potter showcases his writing skills, this time with skillful interspersing of critical backstory in such a way as to avoid slowing the plot.
Well, you’ve probably guessed that I am highly recommending Lighting the Dark Side. As I said, all the stories are captivating but more than that, I urge you to take note of the writer’s skill at character development and I’m sure you’ll be impressed. In fact, I shouldn’t think it’d be long before a major publishing house snaps Mr. Potter up because he belongs on the bookshelves with the likes of Jeffery Deaver and Peter Abrahams.
Highly recommended by reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews