I didn’t realise how useful Claws by Stephen Booth would turn out to be. I heard of it as a short novel he’d written for a different publisher than his usual one, and wanted to read it. It’s part of the new Crime Express series from Five Leaves, and it’s meant to be handy to read on the run, because it’s so small. And that’s a great idea!
The witch has road tested Claws, and it works perfectly. It’s very small. About the size of a postcard, and only 96 pages. And the cover has flaps at both ends, so you have a bookmark that you won’t lose. I still remember the hospital doctor who bent down to retrieve the bookmark I’d dropped when I was called, and didn’t notice. Though it wasn’t too bad, because I think he labelled me an intellectual for reading a book in the waiting room. Hah.
Where was I? GP’s waiting room. Works fine there. Book can be tucked away in an instant when it’s your turn. Waiting to speak to child’s teacher. Works fine there too. Travelling on very full commuter train. Excellent. Train wasn’t excellent, but the book was. At first I thought £4.99 a bit steep for such a short book. You can have a full length crime novel for £2 more. But, I would willingly buy a magazine while travelling, and that could cost as much. So, it’s my mind that wants adjusting.
I’ve been going on about books generally being on the long side, so any attempt to produce good, but short books has my vote. I used to find those little Penguin specials very useful, and this new series is obviously filling a need. The Swedish for paperback is pocket book. Very few of them would fit in any pockets these days, but Crime Express will. Assuming the clothes designers don’t do away with pockets for a slimline look.
Almost forgot; Claws is a Ben Cooper on his own story. It’s about the murky world of wildlife crime with bird killers and egg thieves and what have you. And I do like the ending.