I loved this collection of short stories. It was very well done and very original. I am going to be reading more books from Michael Brookes!
The first story, Prison Without Walls, was my favorite. It was about a man is in jail for a murder and while he is in jail, he decides that he is really a murderer! It was not a one time deal. So based on his personal and medical information, the jail sets him up with a program, run by a doctor, that is very hush hush. If Mr. Williams (our murderer) agrees to take part in a series of tests, he could get early parole almost definitely. So we follow the bits and pieces of information about the tests that Dr. Marsh gives Mr. Williams and try to figure out what is going on, what the purpose of the tests are for. And we do find out. And it is incredible. But the best part about this story is the ending. The story itself was amazing, but the ending was TOTALLY unexpected and a great choice.
The second story. The Tapestry, is a bit of a fantasy piece. The basis of the story is that there are three woman, sisters, called The Guardians, that work on a loom or as it is known The Great Loom, which is the whole of humanity and their preset destiny. All of the strings on the loom represent every living person. The different threads get made, inter-connected, and sniped. One day The Watcher comes to visit, based upon some information he found in a box about The Loom from his father, grandfather, etc. This information sends him in search of The Guardians. The Guardians have worked diligently to protect their secret over many, many years. I cannot say to much without adding a spoiler which I do not like doing, but the Watcher, in his search for knowledge, gets the surprise of his life!
The third story, Ghost in the Cloud, just has to be read. It is really creepy and will leave you wondering what happened?! And why?
The fourth story, In The Depths, was also a very creepy story. A horror/mystery. The way it was written, as a communication between four men, was very effective in making it very tense and urgent. These four men appear to be in the military and are on a mission. The story starts out with them trying to leave the place they are at, but they cannot, but not for lack of trying. Through very effective story telling by way of making this a four-way connection over what is probably walkie-talkies, just adds to the suspense and chills. The men need to get out of where they are and Sarge is doing his best he can to adapt to the situation at hand and lead his men out of the place they are in. The ending is so crazy and makes you want more. A sequel at least!
And the fifth and final story is called Not Welcome at the Gate. What do you do if you are an recently exorcised demon and not allowed into Heaven - or Hell? You leave leave Heaven so that you go to Hell, where you are familiar with, and Hell kicks you back to Heaven! St. Peter wants to bring you in but a rather large angel name Uriel will not allow it. He believes you are not worthy and will stop at nothing to keep you from entering Heaven. So how do you, or can you, outsmart an angel?
Again, a fantastic collection of short stories that you will not be sorry you read.