Following the success of their first collaborative collection, Terminal Damage, the talented crew from Do Some Damage is back with another anthology that will knock your socks off. Just as the stories in the first collection were centered around a common theme, a horrendous visit to the airport, so are the stories in Collateral Damage thematically related. This time the focus for the eight tales of revenge, mystery, murder, and mayhem all revolve around Father's Day. And while every story in the collection is worth the price of admission, each showcasing the author's unique voice, there were a few that stood out for me.
Reunion - The collection gets off to a rollicking start in this story from Joelle Charbonneau. After years of estrangement from her family because of the horrendous treatment she received at the hands of her sadistic mother, a grown daughter returns home to give her dying father a special Father's Day present. There's an old saying that revenge is a dish best served cold, but Reunion proves that a long, slow simmer is much more likely to pay off handsomely in the end.
Modern Father - In this chilling story from Sandra Ruttan dedicated husband and father, Tom, discovers that his wife, Mary, hasn't actually been working late all those evenings like she claims. Coldly, methodically, Tom hatches a plan to give himself a Father's Day present Mary will never forget.
Flesh and Blood - For those of us not lucky enough to have seen them the initial go round, Flesh and Blood is our first chance to get acquainted with Russel D. McLean's private investigator Sam Bryson. McLean packs a tremendous amount into this short, with a particularly dangerous assignment causing Bryson to rethink his career in light of the news he's going to be a father. A collection of Sam Bryson short stories, The Death of Ronnie Sweets, is forthcoming and if Flesh and Blood is any indication of what we're in store for I can't wait to get my hands on it.
Mr. Adler and the Missing Comic Book - This delightfully playful and offbeat story from Dave White is probably my favorite of the bunch. Set against the seemingly innocuous background of a wedding and its reception, Mr. Adler and the Missing Comic Book is a good old fashioned mystery that shows even when he's pissed off about his daughter scheduling her wedding on Father's Day a loving dad will do whatever it takes to make sure his baby's big day isn't ruined.
Other stories in the collection include: Father's Day by Jay Stringer, That Kind of Face by Steve Weddle, Anne Chambers and the Case of the Father's Day Murder by Scott D. Parker, and Pulp Life by John McFetridge.