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A Short Story Collection by Ferdinand von Schirach

Guilt by Ferdinand von Schirach

Review: Ferdinard von Schirach's second collection of short stories, simply titled Guilt, is a tautly written set of tales based on true-life crimes known to the author.

Most of these stories are truly short, some spanning less than five pages. They share a more-or-less common structure: a backstory in which characters are introduced and the crime committed or described; a first person account from the attorney — presumably the author himself, though that may not be a reasonable assumption to make — involved in the case that follows; and a final summary (or summation), often one that provides a personal observation or unexpected twist on the proceedings. Despite the brevity of the stories, the settings are frequently atmospheric and there's a surprising amount of character development.

The book's title suggests that all the stories share a common theme — guilt — and if so, it is one that comes with some subtlety attached to it; guilt is not always associated with, or limited to, the guilty. Indeed, a more obvious common thread to the stories might be ordinary people reacting to extraordinary situations.

The final tale, one not even three pages in length, provides a most entertaining twist on the collection as a whole. Guilt is a somewhat unusual collection of stories, one that clearly won't be to everyone's liking, but one that might cause readers to think a bit more about what the word means in a broader context.

Acknowledgment: Random House provided a copy of Guilt for this review.

Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Location(s) referenced in Guilt:

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Guilt by Ferdinand von Schirach

Guilt by A Short Story Collection

Publisher: Knopf
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0-307-59949-0
Publication Date:
List Price: $24.00

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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