These are stories about people who for the most part live on the fringes of society: if they have a job, they earn minimum wage, if they have a dream, they won’t ever see it realised. A nice counterpoint to this are tales about people who have simply been pushed too far, people who are put under such extreme pressure that they snap. A common theme is the potent combination of bad luck and bad decisions.
It’s difficult to single out favourites from such a strong collection, but I’ll try. ‘Skinny Latte’ is a darkly funny cautionary tale about the dangers of making someone work hard for something, then denying them the right to use it, and anyone who has ever worked in retail will understand exactly where ‘Service With a Smile’ is coming from. Finally, ‘Administrative Segregation’ is a bite-sized story that shows more about character and situation than many full-length novels.
Watch You Drown is an absolute gem of a collection, and a must-have for any fans of contemporary gritty crime stories. Very highly recommended.