Exit Wounds Edited by Paul B. Kane & Marie O’Regan

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It must be difficult to write a short story, especially if you’re used to writing big blockbusters, such as these renowned authors: Jeffery Deaver, Val McDermid and Lee Child to name a few. Keeping the plot tight, but still trying to offer the reader the suspense and thrill of a longer form but tightly woven together in a short story.

Well by goodness have these renowned authors smashed it by producing some exquisite crime, in bite sized and easily digestible chunks!

Is it difficult to die? Killed by suicide, your daughter, friend or an anonymous person…or even a possession?! These short stories are all associated with an end…death/murder in some way (Exit) and the fallout from that, be it pain or the unknown (Wounds) these small insights give themselves to a great title!

The editors choices and running order is ingenious, all are different, some weird and unusual and some offer a more traditional thriller – but in the end it’s a fabulously curated anthology and the editors should be praised in comprising such a unique collection of the best crime writers about.

The first story by Jeffery Deaver ‘The Bully‘ is masterfully written as expected, and the level of minute detail he is able to lace within the tale is astounding. Loved how he turns the story upside down, caused the end product to be unforgettable and incredibly deft read.

There are also more unusual stories, autopsies for example and with some being more dark and realistic then others. I was immersed in the ‘Like a Glass Jaw‘ by Mark Billingham and ‘The Pitcher‘ by Sarah Hilary – both of which enraptured me from start to finish. I also enjoyed the tense thrill-ride of ‘The Consumers‘ by Dennis Lehane – hiring a killer to do a job, you just cannot fulfil yourself made for an entertaining read.

Val McDermid did not disappoint either with a DCI uncovering a murderer in her usual suspense filled style, and a detective with a strange unsolved double murder.

I think the penultimate short story ‘The New Lad’ by Paul Finch though, was my personal favourite, it was an outstanding piece of short fiction – strange, quirky, thrilling and unpredictable, which in turn is a true reflection of the complete collection of crime stories.

This collection of strange short stories is an outstanding read, that you can dip in and out of without worrying about losing the plot. I will certainly be reading more of the less known authors other work.

Anyone who enjoys crime fiction will, I’m sure, be enthralled and captivated by the talent on show within Exit Wounds – a crime anthology with serious punch!

Exit Wounds is published by Titan Books and is available here.

Paul Kane

Paul Kane is the award-winning author of over 70 books, including Alone (In the Dark), Touching the Flame, FunnyBones, Signs of Life, The Lazarus Condition, Peripheral Visions, The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy, RED, Of Darkness and Light, The Gemini Factor and the bestselling Arrowhead trilogy of novels (Arrowhead, Broken Arrow and Arrowland). He is a respected anthologist, editing collections such as Beyond Rue Morgue, Hell-Bound Hearts and Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell.

Marie O’Regan

Marie O’Regan is a British Fantasy Award-nominated writer and editor of horror and dark fantasy fiction. Her anthologies include Mirror Mere, Hellbound Hearts, The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, Carnivale: Dark Tales From the Fairground and The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women. She is Co-Chair of the UK chapter of the Horror Writers’ Association.


A.K. Benedict, Sarah Hilary, James Oswald, Fiona Cummins, Martyn Waites, Christopher Fowler, John Connolly, Mark Billingham, Steph Broadribb, Val McDermid, Jeffery Deaver, Joe R Lansdale, Dennis Lehane, Dean R Koontz, Paul Finch, Alex Gray, Louise Jensen and Lee Child.

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