Thursday, 17 July 2014

Bad Boy: The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife by Kit Power: A review by Anna Belfrage

The author is kindly giving two copies of Bad Boy away so see the instructions at the bottom of this post for instructions.

This little book is too short to qualify as a novel, and given that it contains two stories, it doesn’t quite qualify as a novella either – instead, Mr. Power presents us with two very different long short stories (yes, I know; a contradiction in terms). 
Both stories are told in first person. Both have male protagonists – and that is where the similarity between them ends.

In the first story, we are introduced to a most loving husband. His wife’s every wish he tries to fulfil – preferably even before she has expressed it. He studies her facial expression, registers her tone and analyses absolutely everything she says and does so as to ensure himself he has understood her correctly before deciding on the appropriate action. He knows when she needs tea, when he has to buy her flowers. One gets the impression of a man living very much under his wife’s thumb, eager to please, always attentive.
The man is quietly successful as an accountant. He is promoted and receives a bonus. After some consideration, the man and his wife decide to use the money to build a conservatory. In retrospect, this was a most fateful decision. It will turn our accountant’s life totally upside down, but to say more would be to reveal too much of the plot. Suffice it to say that our accountant definitely has a ruthless streak in him when needed. Very ruthless.

The second story, "The Debt", is much darker. Our protagonist is a working man who has handled unwelcome pay-cuts by maxing out on his credit cards. Months of creative shuffling between one card and the next have resulted in a staggering amount of debt. Poor Del has no idea what to do, so he turns to Tel, childhood buddy, and asks for help. Only problem is, Tel deals on the wrong side of the law, and in Tel’s world there is no such thing as a free lunch. You want money, you deliver…something.
Unfortunately (or not), Tel has no need of any services Del can offer, and with this last glimmer of hope quenched, Del is trapped. Del’s desperation is well-described. He has lied to his wife, Pam, about the dire straits they’re in; he is worried sick about what will happen to his daughter if he doesn’t sort the present situation. His brain goes into overdrive as he repeatedly tries to find a way out, but ultimately he is left with one choice: to kill himself in a way that will allow Pam to claim on the life insurance. At this point in time, a harried Tel calls, asking for Del’s help. One minor service, no more, and Del will be paid enough to clear his debts. Minor, of course, is relative…

Given the format, there is little room for the author to truly develop his characters. Instead, Mr. Power creates situations that force his characters – and readers – to revaluate just how far they would be willing to go to safeguard what is theirs. Personally, I felt "The Debt" was by far the stronger of the two stories, mainly because the scenario was eerily realistic. I could well imagine being in a similar position as Del – but I am not sure I would have made the same choices as he did.

I’m not sure I can call this an enjoyable read – in the sense that there was nothing fluffy or light-hearted about it. Instead, it leaves an itch behind, a need to shift restlessly in my seat as I consider the choices the characters make. Would I have been capable of doing the same? Would you?

About the author: Kit Power’s biography on Amazon reveals he lives in the UK and writes fiction that thrives in the borderland of horror, fantasy and thriller. He is also, apparently, in need of a car and a packet of cigarettes, none of which I can help him with. Further to this, Mr. Power has an alter ego as Kit Gonzo, and in this apparition he fronts The Disciples of Gonzo that play “loud, brilliant and energetic rock and roll.”                     
Kit in a rather unusual pose

Kit can be found on Facebook here.
The Loving Husband and Faithful Wife is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

For a chance to win a copy of Bad Boy, please leave a comment below or on this review's associated Facebook thread.

Anna Belfrage is the author of six published books, all part of The Graham Saga. Set in the 17th century, the books tell the story of Matthew Graham and his time-travelling wife, Alex Lind. Anna can be found on amazon, twitter, facebook and on her website. If you would like Anna to review your book, please see our submissions tab above.
Anna Belfrage


  1. Sounds like very entertaining long/short stories! I do like that description!

  2. I don't normally read short stories as I like to submerge myself into a full length novel. Anna's review has tempted me into the short story genre, and so I think I will be putting this on my TBR list.

  3. Hi both! Rob, one of the things that e-publishing has made possible is a market for stories that are too long for magazines/anthologies but too short for novellas. It's so liberating to be able to write a story to the length it wants to be without worrying about those restrictions.

    Louise, thanks for the vote for confidence - I mainly read novels myself, but the great thing about the short story/novella length pieces is that you can get a full story hit in one reading session, which can be very satisfying. Really hope you enjoy the book - please let me know how you get on.

    1. Kit thank you for allowing Anna to review your book. I've always poo-pooed the idea of short stories but you've definitely made me think differently. I wish you every success and maybe a screenplay?

    2. Wow, thanks Paula - there's a thought! I did wonder if The Debt would make a good 30 minute or 1 hour film, maybe. Now all I have to do is clone myself so I have enough time to do that and all the other writing projects that are in the pipeline... :/

  4. Deirdre O'Mahony23 July 2014 at 13:15

    I love short stories! I love how the storyline takes centre stage & forces me to consider options I may prefer to leave untouched. This book sounds perfect for me! Great review!