Death Do Us Part

Fiction - Mystery - General
186 Pages
Reviewed on 01/20/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Death Do Us Part is a short story collection filled with mystery and suspense, which was penned by author duo J. L. Salter and Charles A. Salter. Comprising ten stories in total, the collection hinges on themes of action, tension and mysteries to be solved, and is accessible for all readers due to some very mild and non-graphic adult references. The stories vary in their individual content, for psychologically mind-bending tales of identity during the Vietnam War through to violent political coups, science-fiction themed rescue missions and bang up to date technological murder mysteries. What results is a highly accomplished collection that was a pleasure to read from start to end.

Author duo J. L. Salter and Charles A. Salter have accomplished a truly striking collection here with not a single dud amongst the ten fantastic tales which are on offer. My particular favorite was That ASMR Girl, a relatively short tale compared to some of the others, but conceptually brilliant and told with a narrative mastery that smacks of the likes of Raymond Carver. There is a talent for getting the humanity out of these characters, even in the short form, so that we as readers become immediately invested in the new people we are introduced to, just before the heat is cranked up on them. Structurally speaking, the stories are well-timed and well-paced to deliver a quality punch with a fully satisfying conclusion as well. Overall, Death Do Us Part is a bold collection of truly original stories, told by a pair of excellent writers.

Tiffany Ferrell

Every now and then one should take a break from big chapter books and read some creepy short stories. In Death Do Us Part, a variety of black mirror typed stories are found within its pages. From a man in Vietnam who is trying to prove to doctors that he’s not his best friend, to a strange story about a man losing his limbs from a bioterrorism attack. Then we have ones that involve murder like The Room, which deals with an unfortunate car accident where the driver was drunk while the passenger wasn’t. If you’re looking for a collection of stories that will leave your hair standing on end in a real-life scenario type of way, J.L. and Charles Salter’s book is right up your alley.

Overall, Death Do Us Part has some really original stories. While there were some that I had trouble getting into, there were other stories that I really enjoyed. I loved the Twilight Zone feeling that Buddies Forever had and found myself wondering if this man was truly who he said he was, or if somehow his soul had found its resting place in the body of the man they always mistook him for. The second story I really enjoyed was Murder On Her Mind. It had such a chilling creep factor that felt straight out of those old-school Lifetime movies about spouses who kill their other half. The way it ends is so haunting too. It makes the reader anxious to know whether or not Janet sobered up and got out. Death Do Us Part by J.L. and Charles Salter is definitely a great read with an interesting variety for short story and macabre fiction fans.

Lit Amri

Death Do Us Part by J.L. Salter and Charles A. Salter is a collection of ten short stories about friendship, betrayal, delusion, mystery and more. Ranging from familiar to surreal, the different context ensures that the stories are as diverse and intriguing as their characters. The authors give readers two distinct writing styles united under the umbrella theme of death through complex circumstances. Both take a different tack when it comes to incorporating this theme into their stories. Buddies Forever is a tale of a wounded American soldier in Vietnam who’s confused when everyone mistakes him for his best friend. I caught the truth almost halfway into the story but remained curious about how the protagonist would react. Tragic but poignant, it’s a great start for the anthology.

A Lousy Way to Rye is about a man physically and mentally affected by a bioterrorist attack, racing against time to get his revenge on the perpetrator. Slightly gory but it’s as intriguing as its predecessor, showing how powerful the mind is in its ability to twist reality. One of my favorites is Murder on Her Mind, about a woman named Janet whose husband has been very attentive towards her lately. Her friend and neighbor, Holly, is convinced there’s a sinister reason behind it. I found it a clever tongue-in-cheek 'cautionary tale' to all spouses everywhere. That ASMR Girl is another favorite of mine, taking on the 'danger' of one of the popular internet trends today. An autonomous sensory meridian response video is responsible for the mysterious death of a colonel, a CDI agent, and an FBI agent. It's up to CIA Agent Radisson to solve the case. The Salter brothers know how to create intense stakes for their characters and give readers surprising twists in their tales. Simply put, Death Do Us Part is a dark but enjoyable read that will delight fans of the genre.

Erin Nicole Cochran

Death Do Us Part by brother authors J.L. Salter and Charles A. Salter is a mystery short story collection that conjures up memories of TV series like One Step Beyond. Although the stories are fiction, they feel as though you could walk right into each of the characters' worlds and join them for a cup of coffee. Those worlds range from decades into the past and into the not so distant future that lies before us. The narrative settles warmly around the reader in a familiar way, beckoning for a closer look and investigation, only to shock and drop them with an unfamiliar adrenaline kick toward each story's end. Two of the lines that created such a stirring emotion can be found on page 33: “His voice sounded like deep, bass echoes from a living mummy’s steps in an open sepulcher.” And on page 152: 'The last piece she did before her eyes got so bad had been a needlework gift for me—a rustic field scene with the legend “Blade of Grass.”' Both evoked differing emotions, but both poetic nonetheless.

Death Do Us Part by Charles A. Salter and J.L. Salter really put me through a number of reactions that I don’t usually encounter when reading most books. All of them were authentically felt and intensely enjoyed. Having been a fan of mysteries and psychological films and books throughout my life, Death Do Us Part is high up on my recommended list of books to read if you’re in the mood to feel something real or scare yourself half to death. Death Do Us Part should be enjoyed and shared, and read at your own risk. And I mean that in the best of ways. It’s captivating.

Ankita Shukla

The short stories of Death Do Us Part by J. L. Salter and Charles A. Salter grip a reader's attention right from the very first tale. Buddies Forever, the first one, is the story about an injured soldier, PFC Donaghue. Ever since he joined the army, everybody mispronounced his name as Donahue. This other person, Corporal Roger Donahue, was his best buddy. When PFC Donaghue woke up in an Evacuation Hospital, he was baffled to see that the records in the hospital had made the same mistake. Everybody -- including his doctor and nurse -- addressed him as Donahue and, to add to his misery, nobody had any information about his best buddy, Donahue. Later, after a lot of questioning, he was informed about his buddy's death. To help him get closure, the doctor agreed to arrange for him to see his friend's dead body. However, would this be the closure that he needed or the beginning of a very confusing life?

Death Do Us Part by J. L. Salter, and Charles A. Salter is a collection of ten very mind-boggling short stories. Most of these stories challenge the reader's brain. Regardless of your ability to think out of the box, the climax of nearly every story will surely leave you bewildered. Out of all the short stories of Death Do Us Part, my favorite ones are Buddies Forever, The Room, Murder on Her Mind, and Time Conscious. A Lousy Way to Rye is a close favorite too. The characters in all these stories are excellent storytellers. They do not rush the narration and keep a mysterious ambiance until the end. With just the right blend of suspense, psychological twists, mild action, and interesting conversations, Death Do Us Part is the perfect book to entertain you and capture your full attention.