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Partners In Crime is an intriguing short story. Very easy to read, it tells of three friends and how their lives develop as they go through school, hit adulthood and start up their own business. However, as soon as a love interest comes along, things start getting a bit tense.
Author Nigel Hinton tells this story well from the point of view of Perry, the short and ugly one of the group. Toddie is the leader, and is portrayed as a bigger person, King of the year at school, and the brawn behind the business. Violence is used to stamp authority here. Marco is the third of the group, the innocent and charming one. He is kept blind to the business' real income, which becomes drug dealing.
What I liked about this is the way that the narrative tells us what is going on. On the one hand, you have a status quo whereby the threat of violence wins hands down every time a conflict arises, but then love and affection comes into the equation, and there is all of a sudden a new threat. Hinton even opens his tale with an intro where he describes how he asked himself what lengths he would go to in the name of love.
As the story progressed, I didn't necessarily find that the characters became clearer or more understandable, as he done a pretty good job of that straight away. It did make the characterisation side of things a bit bland for the majority of the book, and thus the tale itself was rather glossed over and shallow, with no real depth or description involved. However, it was still a decent read, and it quite easily kept my attention throughout. I read it in one sitting, and was pleased with how the story unfolded as well. Too often, there are too many anticlimactic endings with short stories, but Hinton manages to close things out very well here.
Partners In Crime is a Barrington Stoke book, a publishing company that uses their own font, and extends line spacing, in order to make it easier for dyslexic readers as well as those who are reluctant, to pick up a book and enjoy it. They're pricey though, coming in at £5.99, and for a short story, I just find this too expensive. The 100 or so pages that Partners IN Crime lasts for would probably take up half to two thirds as many if you put it in the usual format a book would employ, so to cost around £6 for what would amount to around 60 pages is rather a a lot, especially when you compare other short story series such as Shades and Quick Reads and their considerably lower prices.
Partners In Crime is an enjoyable read, well written, but overpriced. I do recommend these Barrington Stoke books in terms of their quality, but be warned as to the price. A decent read.