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3.9 out of 5 stars37
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 5 April 2012
I would happily buy any other books from this(these) authors. The stories are interesting, very well written, and the endings of quite a few are unpredictable.
The style of writing is very similar to Jeffrey Archer only better (if he wrote this under a pseudonym I'll end up with a lot of egg on my face...). Would be money well spent at double or triple the price.
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on 20 February 2013
I was amazed to read the two star review which claimed "They tend to read as simply a list of actions by the main character. All conflict and suspense is therefore sadly lacking."

This is completely at odds with my experience of the stories. I've always enjoyed "twist in the tail" type stories, but have accepted that they very often suffer from a lack of dimension, the characters being mere ciphers on which to hang the twist. Consequently they are the kind of stories that don't usually bear a second reading - once you know the twist, there is never a reason to read them again.

However, the depth of characterisation and atmosphere in these tales means that they can be read more than once for the sheer pleasure of the writing.

On finishing the book, I immediately went to look for more in a similar vein by Pete Barrett. Unfortunately, it seems that his only other books (at least on Amazon) are for children.
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on 21 March 2013
Great read for when you are relaxing and not particularly in the mood for anything heavy! Shades of Roald Dahl!
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on 12 March 2013
A good read for the bus or train. Well written and nicely entertaining. The short story genre needs a really good author.This is one.
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on 8 March 2013
I enjoyed this book enormously. Each tale was well written and interesting. Each time i finished one I couldnt wait to read the next.
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on 6 February 2013
Having just read one of these superbly written stories via the Shortbread website I thought you'd be interested to know what other people thought as well...

"Brilliant Pete, Great dialogue and well described, you nailed women precisely, see my wife. Well done, keep it up. Yours SW" Sandy Wardrope

"captivating story...sweet narrative...wonderful ending!" Stan-collins Ubaka

"great narrative, great style, fast, suspensful and a humdinger of a twist in the tale." Oscar Ranzo

"Loved this one. Well- written and I was totally sucked in!" Denise Melville

"This story added a smile to my day! Very nice story and very good writing. Well done." Dorothy Spruzen

"Absolutely brilliant. I am actually stuck for words it was that good." Moira Prentice

"Lovely twist and so well written. It kept me guessing all the way through." Ann Smith

"An anticlimax? Yes, but such a relief! The build up was fantastic and my imagination was running riot with Linda's. A well crafted, humorous story and the touches of darkness made it quite compelling. Thanks Peter." Valerie Ball.

"Lovely. No words wasted. Great build up and neat twist. I can already hear it on the radio. Thank you." Sheena Robertson.

"Beautifully balanced between the initial character sketch, the nature of the relationship, the inevitable weakening and the killer punch line. Respect, Peter." Bill Kirton

"Very nicely done! What a true picture of the human mind. Reminds me of the Bluebeard stories. Thanks, Peter." Ingeborg Alde

"I did not like either of them. But I wasn't meant to. They were so human! What a stroke of genius this story was. Makes one think of the nasty things in one's own life. Good job. And the narrator was just the one for it. Thanks to all. Patsy R Liles":

"Brilliant!" Dickson Telfer.:

"Thanks Peter, Loved this story and a great ending. More please." Meg Malpass.

"There's nothing more calculated to peak your curiosity than to be told something's there, but you mustn't look at it, especially if the request to leave it alone is repeated a few times, and then to add, "...you might not like me..." Great stuff! David knows his friend all too well I think. Well done." Jay Leffew

"As someone who has reverted to son and hen, as forms of address, for family and friends. I enjoyed this. I have walked away from many people thinking, who the hell are they, they must be one or the other. I think you showed it well here." John Slater.

"Here is an example of why this rating system is almost useless.....an excellent story that is deserving a higher rating. The ending, which we might have guessed except we were so properly set up with the "political correctness thing" Well done. A fine listen!" David Green
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on 16 September 2012
I bought this book on spec to take into hospital. I was very pleased with it. The stories are delightful, twisted and entertaining. The author has a good style and lots of interesting ideas. I hope it is not too long before we are treated to another volume from this author.
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on 29 August 2013
I saw this advertised in Private Eye. Mr. Barrett is a really good writer. I couldn't put the book down. Funny, original and in a style that keeps you turning the page. I look forward to more!
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on 13 July 2013
I really rather liked this and because I don't have an awful amount of time to read, I liked the idea of being able to read one story at a time without returning to the book days later only to find that I'd forgotten the characters and/or what the story was about.

It was very easy reading. The only thing I would say is that some more editing might have been a good idea - typos aside, there were a few other weird things jumping off the page (e.g. in one story, the guys name changes half way down the first page - I can't remember the names, so I'll make them up, but one minute, I'm reading about a guy called Jonathan and then it switches to Julian and I'm thinking 'whose Julian?')

But I'm probably (definitely?) being over-critical (but hey - that's my username) because overall, I thought this was a great buy for the price and would definitely buy future short stories from this author.
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on 30 April 2013
Overall this is a very good collection of short stories covering a variety of genres.

Most have a clever twist, sometimes you'll see it coming, sometimes you wont.

There are included a couple of absolute gems of stories, Busy body, Deadline and Old Friend stand out for me, whilst the majority of the others are well written and imaginatively set. Not your usual plots rehashed.

The reason I hesitated over giving 5 stars is that there are a couple of cliched stories included also and some stereotypical characterisation in some others that leaves you feeling disappointed considering the quality of the other stories. I also feel some could have done with a final proof read just to ploish them off.

That said I enjoyed reading this collection and would recommend it as a good read and great value for money
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