Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“You wanted him dead. Your wish is my command. The words blow around in my head like dandelion seeds in the wind.”
A single text changed her life. Did it end his?
Emily Latimer is furious. Her boss Andrew is being so unreasonable, as always. She fires off a text to her boyfriend, only in her haste she sends it to her whole office group.
In it she says Andrew’s being difficult about letting her have time off work. That she is angry. That she hopes he dies. The next day her face burns in the office. No one believes her when she says it was a typo, she meant to say does. She hopes he does.
It’s a nightmare. But it gets worse – Andrew doesn’t turn up for work. And then the police come knocking. Because Andrew Burton has been murdered . . .
I’ll be honest – I picked up this book because I needed a quick break in between two longer reads, and my god, I was not prepared for how good this short story was! The tone of voice seemed to be exactly what I love and it was really easy to get into – that first page made me frustrated and curious; if you sent a text wishing death upon someone by accident to all your colleagues, wouldn’t you want to crawl into a hole and never emerge?! I loved Emily’s character and the author has perfectly portrayed her anger and embarrassment. I already wished this book was a full sized novel!
There were some secrets in here that make us question Emily’s friendship with some characters, and there was definitely some gossip going around about different members of staff. In the 35 pages of this book, I was still managing to question so much and found myself eager to get to the bottom of Andrew’s disappearance – why didn’t he show up for work that day? Was he too annoyed about Emily’s text message that he couldn’t bear to see her, or was there something much more sinister going on? For a short story, the pacing in this book was excellent and I easily lost track of time as I read.
“The word hovers over both of us like a spectre, shaking the foundations of our safe little bubble of a world.”
The book takes a dark turn as we learn of Andrew’s death – this event and the text she sent really don’t sit well with the police, and it seems like such an unfortunate coincidence. How would she ever prove that she had nothing to do with it? A cryptic note posted through her letterbox makes us think the killer is closer to home than we thought, but who was it?! My mind was racing as I thought of the possibilities and I knew the rest of the story was about to blow my head off. And it did, of course. The author has a brilliant way with words and the suspense was amazing!
Emily’s boyfriend, Stuart, seems the perfect culprit for the crime, but I thought that’d be too obvious – he seemed obnoxious and would pick a fight with Emily over the smallest thing. However, when the real culprit confesses, Emily realises her life is so similar to her dead boss’, without even realising it. The ending of the book made me want to applaud Emily as she makes some crucial changes to her life before she makes a mistake of her own. It was that very ending that made me desperate to read the author’s other books! Absolutely brilliant, and I can’t wait to see how her full sized novels are written. I knew they wouldn’t let me down!
The Text by Claire Douglas is available as a free eBook on Amazon – I’d seriously recommend this for thriller fans or for anyone who is looking for an impressive short story to read to pass some time. I’d definitely enjoy reading this one again! You can follow the author over on Twitter and Instagram to see updates on her future work.