Predator or Prey

Short Tales with a Twist

Fiction - Suspense
37 Pages
Reviewed on 01/26/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Join the Readers Group and receive a FREE Short Story: 'The Yellow Cottage' (the prelude to the Yellow Cottage cosy mysteries). Available on her website ~

J. New is the British author of paranormal cosy mysteries, murder mysteries and magical YA with a hint of romance. A voracious reader and writer all her life, she took her first foray into Indie publishing in 2013, and has never looked back.
She has an eclectic reading taste, ranging from the Magic of Terry Pratchett, JK Rowling, Tolkien and Neil Gaiman, to Dean Koontz, Eion Colfer, Anne Rice and Agatha Christie. A lover of murder mysteries set in past times, where steam trains, afternoon tea and house staff abound. She is convinced she was born in the wrong era as she has a particular aversion to cooking and housework.
She also has an impossible bucket list, which includes travelling on the Orient Express with Hercule Poirot, shopping in Diagon Alley with Sirius Black, lazing around the Shire with Gandalf and Bilbo, exploring Pico Mundo with Odd Thomas and having Tea at the Ritz with Miss Marple.
Funds from the sale of her books go towards her dog rescue effort.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Predator or Prey: Short Tales with a Twist is a collection of short stories written by Jacquie New. These are very short and flash fiction tales which, while brief, are filled with suspense and surprises. App for Life is the story of a desperate man whose abusive and controlling wife won’t allow him to escape her and who even thwarts his efforts to kill himself. In A Kind Gesture, a beautiful little boy’s appearance lures a predator to his doom. A Good Day details the life and fears of a bullied child who finally takes a stand. A Little Piece and Quiet is a spooky and chilling look into the domestic life of a second-generation child abuser.

Jacquie New’s short story collection, Predator or Prey: Short Tales with a Twist, is filled with wonderfully macabre stories and very dark humor. She dispassionately examines her predators with the skill and nonchalance of a butterfly collector dropping his newest acquisitions into a killing jar. Nothing is quite predictable in Predator or Prey, except perhaps the reader’s growing realization that any characters who appear in one of New’s tales have found themselves in a very strange and disquieting world. I almost started to feel sorry for some of the predators, even if they do have some sort of justice coming to them. New’s writing is tight and taut and quite well-suited for the type and length of writing she’s presented here. Her extreme economy of expression and well-measured use of language amps up the tension and surprise in these marvelous little monstrosities. Predator or Prey: Short Tales with a Twist is highly recommended.

Maria Beltran

Predator or Prey: Short Tales with a Twist is a chilling collection written by J. New. It starts off with A Bolt from the Blue, a tale of an abusive relationship that tells of a desperate woman making her escape from a man who seems to be the reincarnation of the devil himself. There are ten stories in this collection and each one will cause a chill at the nape of your neck. In Be Careful What You Wished For, the quest for immortality ends up in a scenario that one would not expect, while in A Little Peace and Quiet, the fates of two little boys hang in a delicate balance at the hands of their own mother. This is a book that explores the subconscious of people whose stories will grip your heart and mind.

Predator or Prey: Short Tales with a Twist by J. New is a collection of short stories and flash fiction that seems like short extracts of the secret corners of people’s perverted minds. All the characters in the stories are either predator or prey, and reading this book is like entering their murky minds. What makes this collection of stories more chilling is that these are actually common crimes probably being committed every day in any corner of the globe. The author has a vivid descriptive style and this makes the book intriguing and difficult to put down, except perhaps for the fainthearted. The shifting of the characters’ points of view from oppressor to victim is quite effective too, especially in heightening the thrill and mystery of the stories. The twists made me thirst for more details after reading each one of them. A very interesting read!

Julia Hopkinson

Predator or Prey is a collection of short stories and flash fiction by British writer J. New. Each entry is a tale of mystery and suspense with a twist in the tail. ‘A Bolt from the Blue’ is a swift but shocking view of domestic violence. ‘App for Life’ also focuses on domestic abuse, but not as normally portrayed. ‘A Kind Gesture’ is a tale of someone who deserves it, getting their just deserts. ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ is a modern-day take on Faust. ‘A Good Day’ focuses on a school bully’s determined victim. ‘A Little Peace and Quiet’ is the tale of a single mother on the edge. ‘A Shiny New Bike’ looks at family dynamics following an accident. ‘A Sting in the Tale’ enters the Catholic confessional. ‘A Blessing in Disguise’ follows a child’s abduction. ‘(Wo)man’s Best Friend’ is another twisted tale of domestic abuse.

Each of the stories in Predator or Prey is well written, but many are flash fiction (extremely quick short stories), which can sometimes hamper their effectiveness. ‘A Kind Gesture’ is disturbing but its brevity leaves some unexplored avenues that would have benefited from a longer story (the protagonist is a doctor?). ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ and ‘A Blessing in Disguise’ are similarly hampered and didn't really work for me. The best of J. New’s tales are the swift but shockingly effective ‘A Little Peace and Quiet’, the heartbreakingly clever ‘A Shiny New Bike’ and the slightly lengthier and creepy ‘A Sting in the Tale’. Overall, the collection is interesting and I would read more from this author.