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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The One Road: A Single Journey - Many Lives is a work of fiction in the short story collection, thriller, and mystery subgenres. It is best suited to the adult reading audience owing to the use of explicit language throughout and some mature content, and it was penned by author Jack Byrne. The stories within this collection contain characters from the author’s Liverpool Mystery Series and introduce us to many different people who find themselves in dark and difficult situations. From explorations of our childhood and past decisions to present-day prejudices and the expectations we have of our lives, there’s something for everyone within these well-considered tales.
Author Jack Byrne captures many different angles of humanity in this heartfelt, visceral, and engaging collection, and there’s a keen eye for spotlighting us when we’re not at our best, and acknowledging that everyone feels like this sometimes, no matter their situation. From love and loss to suffering, persecution, and unwavering hope, you grow to have faith in the confident narrative skill of the author that he will bring you back into the light even after some very dark explorations. I enjoyed the blunt style of storytelling that cuts to sharp dialogue and sudden moments of exposition because it felt suitably gritty for the thriller and mystery aspects of the tales and gives the work a cinematic quality. As someone who lives very near Liverpool and spends a lot of time there, I felt the Britishness of the narrative really lends itself to the realism and humor of the work. Overall, I would certainly recommend The One Road for readers looking to discover an author who can make you belly laugh and cry buckets in the same few pages, and for fans of varied and skilled storytelling.