Originally, I did not intend to review short stories or novellas, originally, but have since decided “Why not?” My first is called Voyeur by Jon Michaelsen. Voyeur is a short novella included in an anthology entitled MEN and e-published by loveyoudivine Alterotica. Buy links are below.

Voyeur
by
Jon Michaelsen

Take one bored and lonely youngish account executive named Kevin, who lives on the 28th floor of a high-rise. Add a pent-house in a building only 26 stories high, where there lives a young, physically perfect specimen of young manhood who can be seen—accidentally at first—sunning himself, working out, living a healthy, athletic and apparently idle lifestyle.

Kevin begins by being curious, and soon graduates to binoculars, a camera with a telephoto lens, and obsession to the point where he can’t sleep, his work slides, his job is in jeopardy. When the mysterious object of Kevin’s obsession appears at his door one day, battered by a jealous lover and seeking help, Kevin is undone. Not long afterward a man is found dead in the penthouse and everything points to Kevin as the killer.

Michaelsen carefully crafts the tension in his story, taking the reader into Kevin’s mind as he sinks into ennui and then is energized by his discovery of the beauty across the way. We see his growing unhealthy obsession as he watches and lusts after the stranger. The sex scenes are more graphic than I usually like, but Michaelsen’s writing is such that they are an integral part of the story and not just thrown in to be titillating; he blends them seamlessly into the fabric of his tale.

There are only a couple of things that bothered me about the story, and both are simply the result of its being a novella rather than a stand-alone book. It’s too short; I would like to see it expanded into a novel, see the tension built even more, see Kevin and the mystery man become more involved because that would make the ending even more startling. The other thing is also probably due to the word-length restrictions. I don’t want to write a spoiler here so I’m not quite sure how to put it. Let me just say that there is a resolution, that comes far too abruptly, and gives the impression of cutting the story off at the knees.

There’s no doubt that Michaelsen is a talented writer who can spin a good tale of twisted psychology! I recommend the story for anyone who enjoys shorter pieces with lots of increasing tension. I haven’t read the other stories in the anthology, but if they’re as good as Voyeur it would be well worth buying.

Buy links for the anthology:
Publisher: http://tinyurl.com/LYD-MEN
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/MENwhoLOVEmen
Voyeur will be available at All Romance eBooks as a FREE download during the entire month of Nov 2008.
Author’s website: http://www.jonmichaelsen.net/

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