Lead Review (Burning Angel)

  • Book: Burning Angel and Other Stories
  • Location: World
  • Author: Lawrence Osborne

Review Author: tripfiction

Location

Content

4.5*

Burning Angel by Lawrence Osborne, short stories set around the world.

Short stories set around the WORLD

These stories are penned by Lawrence Osborne, whom Metro describes as “The bastard child of Patricia Highsmith and Graham Greene“. I am delighted when he publishes a new book because his stories are always dark and have a terrific sense of place.

There are nine stories in this collection which take the reader to Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, The Peak District, Oman, Mexico, The Andamans, Hawaii, Mongolia and New York City.

Burning Angel is the last story and the best has been left until last. A couple of rich Manhattanites take a young woman with hearing difficulties under their wing, to act as maid and nursemaid to the baby that will be born shortly. The husband Edward is an architect and has built an incredible duplex on the 27th floor in the city, a dwelling that is inspired by Japan, and the author makes it sound like a wonderful property. It’s just a shame that the people who inhabit it are such grim, self-referring individuals. That, though, is typical of the author and he really doesn’t usually choose charming characters to populate his stories, they all have quirks and motivations that bring the story to life.

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The opening story set in Hong Kong – Ghost – is a good opener and kept me enthralled, and another particularly memorable for me was also the story set in Oman.

The author is really gifted at evoking the different settings, he immerses his readers into the culture and physical environment in a way that few other writers achieve. He can add texture, colour and an authenticity to locale that really bring the sense of place to full and vibrant life.

The first novel I read by Lawrence Osborne was The Forgiven – set in Morocco – which really kicked off my interest in his storytelling. In 2021 it was adapted into a very colourful and gripping film starring, among others, Jessica Chastain, Ralph Fiennes and Matt Smith. Osborne really deserves to be widely read, his style of writing is a great example of #literarytourism.

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