With Love and Squalor is a great introduction to the dark fictional world of Nigel Bird. The author’s fiction has featured in such places as The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 8, A Twist of Noir and Pulp Metal Magazine. This collection features stories from a range of these publications and serves to give the reader a good idea of what he’s about. This also includes a sample from Nigel’s novella, Smoke. Bird’s style is indefinable. He is drawn to the quirk and different aspects of life. He takes a sidelong view at things and then puts pen to paper.
Some tales like Fisher Of Men will leave you with more questions than answers. A Whole Lotta Rosie, I suspect inspired by the AC/DC song, had heart like much of Bird's fiction and a sad almost melancholic edge to it.
No Pain, No Gain took the interesting concept of siblings that can't feel pain and ran with it. Yet again we have the darker aspects but interwoven that sense of emotional depth that makes you care for the characters even in short fiction. This makes for compelling reading. He has that rare talent of great characterisation in a limited word count. This gives his stories more punch and an extra dimension.
If this is this first title of Nigel's that you read I have no doubt that you will explore more of his work.
Genre: Crime Fiction
Publisher: Sea Minor
Format: E-Book - Short Story Collection