The following is a review of the another story in the upcoming Shades And Shadows Paranormal Anthology, to be released Halloween Day, 2013 from Xchyler Publishing. There are nine short stories focused on the paranormal, as well as a forward by the multi-talented Ben Hansen of SyFy Channel's Fact or Faked. This story in the anthology is titled Cost of Custody, by R.M. Ridley.
Cost of Custody presents the reader with a "day in the life" of a private investigator named Jonathan, a man with special skills. Jonathan's the kind of person you're not quite sure you want to know. He's someone who's seen things. However, within this story, there's no one better for a distraught couple to meet.
Jonathan meets Ben Tate after work. The two talk about Ben's problem and Jonathan decides to take the gig. They drive to Ben's ex-wife's house and the story deepens. Along the way we learn of Jonathan's abilities and reality takes interesting turns.
The tempo of Ridley's narration is smooth, even, well-paced. He doesn't dwell too much on a scene or event before he takes the reader to the next act. He includes enough information to paint the picture without dragging down the story. Ridley is especially effective in presenting the final conflict. The fear is real, the situation dangerous.
Like other stories in this anthology, it's reads surprisingly quick. Before you know it, you've finished a structured and complete story. And, if you're like me, you will have enjoyed it very much.
* Author Photo used without permission from: https://www.facebook.com/rmridley